Israel’s newly acquired submarine “will act as a warning to our enemies who seek our destruction,” PM Netanyahu stated. “Israel is an extremely strong country.”
In Haifa on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin attended a ceremony welcoming the acquisition of Israel’s latest submarine, the INS Rahav, ordered from Germany a decade ago and built according to Israeli specifications.
The new submarine weighs 2,100 tons and is 68 meters long. It is equipped with advanced surveillance systems capable of tracking other ships as well as technology enabling it to avoid detection by enemy craft.
The ship cost nearly $500 million to build, with Berlin providing about a third of the funding.
At the ceremony, Netanyahu expressed appreciation to Germany for contributing to the fortification of Israel’s navy. He also extolled the “productive relationship” between Germany and Israel in the field of security.
“This submarine has come thousands of miles from the port of Kiel in north Germany to the port of Haifa. Its capabilities will assist us with our defensive and offensive capacities in our naval fleet. It will act as a warning against our enemies who seek our destruction,” he said.
“The naval arm of Israel continues to grow all the time and to add crushing power, which can extend to far away and hidden areas. Citizens of Israel need to know that Israel is an extremely strong country. We are doing, and will do everything, to protect you anywhere and in any field,” Netanyahu asserted.
“Conquest of the seas has always been and always will be an essential mission for the Zionist movement. It became an economic, strategic and political necessity for the tiny state of Israel,” President Reuven Rivlin stated. He described the INS Rahav as “the most formidable and sophisticated war machine available today in Israeli hands.”
The INS Rahav is the fifth submarine to join the Israeli naval arsenal. According to a 2012 report in the German weekly Der Spiegel, all the submarines are capable of carrying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
The new submarine will be followed by a sixth in 2019, the INS Dakar, named after the British-manufactured submarine that sunk in 1968 en route to Israel. The Dakar’s location remained unknown for many years until it was discovered and its wreckage recovered in 1999.
The British submarine was eventually found in 1999 between Cyprus and Crete, and some of the wreckage discovered is on display at the Naval Museum in Haifa.