Israel’s Nuclear Submarines

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Israel’s Nuclear Submarines
by Stephen Lendman
Israel is thermonuclear armed and dangerous. Its arsenal likely includes 200 or more warheads, its delivery systems able to strike far distant targets.
It operates five Dolphin-class, nuclear-capable submarines, its newest just added to its fleet – “a formidable war machine, the most advanced, complex and most expensive” military hardware Israel possesses, according to President Reuven Rivlin.
Germany is Israel’s supplier, the first three vessels commissioned in 1999 and 2000, the fourth and fifth ones agreed to in 2006.
They have a maximum speed of 20 knots, a range of 4,500 km. New boats are equipped with 650mm torpedo tubes, capable of launching thermonuclear-armed cruise missiles.
German officials acknowledge Israel’s intention to have a nuclear-capable submarine fleet, able to strike targets anywhere in the region and beyond – boats designed and built to its specifications.
In June 2012, Der Spiegel headlined “Operation Sampson: Israel’s Deployment of Nuclear Missiles on Subs from Germany,” saying:
Vessels represent “precision engineering made in Germany…suitable for equipping with nuclear weapons.”
“Deep in their interiors, on decks 2 and 3, the submarines contain a secret” known to few Israeli insiders: “nuclear warheads, small enough to be mounted on a cruise missile…explosive enough to execute a nuclear strike” – capable of causing vast destruction.
Anyone publicly admitting Israel’s secret program risks “lengthy prison term(s).” Spiegel minced no words, saying with Germany’s help, Israel “creat(ed) a floating nuclear weapon(s) arsenal” – a global menace by any standard.
It asked if Berlin was “recklessly promoting an arms race in the Middle East” – Israel’s war machine enhanced with its fifth Dolphin-class nuclear capable submarine, a sixth one contracted to be built ahead, perhaps more to follow.
Germany’s Howaldswerke-Deutsche Werft shipbuilding company is Israel’s supplier, its newest submarine requiring 18 months longer to complete before becoming fully operational.
Its fuel-cell operating air-independent propulsion system permits underwater operations for weeks at a time without surfacing.
The INS Rahav (Hebrew for Neptune, the Greek god of the sea) reportedly cost $2 billion – offset by Berlin assuming some of the cost.
Israel considers nuclear capable submarines a key part of its defense. Its only enemies are ones it invents – a rogue state threatening world peace, partnered with its US paymaster.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.