Navy completes Dolphin class submarine upgrade
will boost its long-arm strategic capabilities with the reinstatement
of one of its Dolphin class submarines that underwent an unprecedented
structural overhaul. The submarine, one of three currently in the navy,
arrived in Israel in 1999 and is the first to undergo the mid-life renovation.
The Israeli submarines, which were purchased from Germany, have an expected
lifespan of 30 years.
The submarine was taken out of service almost two years ago but the
renovation was a carefully guarded secret in the navy so Israel’s
enemies would not know that one of its three submarines was out of commission.
Now that it is heading back to sea and ahead of the graduation of the
navy’s 100th Submariner Course, The Jerusalem Post was invited
Sunday to tour the shipyard in Haifa where the submarine is being reassembled.
“Every vessel that comes in to the shipyard for maintenance and
upgrades comes out with improved capabilities,” Col. Eli Shouach,
commander of the navy’s shipyard, told the Post. “There
are a select number of countries around the world which can independently
renovate a submarine. Some have tried and failed.”
Israel’s submarines are the military’s most expensive platform
and are often referred to as the country’s second-strike doomsday
weapon due to their reported ability to fire cruise missiles tipped
with nuclear warheads.
The three Dolphin-class submarines in the navy’s fleet are called
Dolphin, Leviathan and Tekuma and are believed to be some of the most
advanced diesel-electric submarines in the world. They replaced the
23- year-old Gal class submarines and in the coming years will be joined
by two additional submarines currently under construction in Germany.
of the three Dolphin class Submarine (SSK) in service in the Israeli
Maj. Doron Bareket,
the officer in charge of the upgrades, said that the renovations include
dismantling all of the submarine’s valves, pipes and sonar systems.
The engine is also taken apart, cleaned and reassembled.
The submarine’s body is also cleaned and cracks in the hull are
welded back together.
The entire upgrade is costing the navy close to NIS 100 million, the most
expensive upgrade the shipyard has ever carried out.
With the expected arrival of two additional submarines in the coming years,
the shipyard is also undergoing renovations to accommodate the new vessels
and building new hangars, some of which will be protected from potential
Hezbollah and Syrian missile attacks.
From: The Jerusalem Post