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Sea Platforms

Israeli submarine chief outlines future requirements

14 March 2018

The first of a batch of three new Israeli Navy submarines is expected to be operational in 2030, a senior naval official has told Jane’s .

INS 
        <I>Rahav</I>
        , Israel&#8217;s newest submarine, arrived at its Haifa base in January 2016. (Israel Defense Forces)INS <I>Rahav</I> , Israel&#8217;s newest submarine, arrived at its Haifa base in January 2016. (Israel Defense Forces)

Colonel G (full name withheld), head of the Israeli Navy’s Submarines Department, said he expected the navy to sign a procurement contract with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in 2020. “This will be followed by eight years of production,” he added.

The German government delayed approving the deal in July 2017 due to an Israeli police investigation into possible improper conduct and corruption in the decision to purchase the three submarines, but approved it in October even though the probe continues. Berlin reportedly added a condition reserving the right to cancel the deal if there are developments in the case.

This does not appear to have slowed the pace of the Future Israeli Navy Submarine (FINS) programme. “In terms of schedule, we are right on time,” Col G said. “If I want a submarine to get here at end of the next decade, I have to start building in 2020. We don’t have much time to waste.”

The three new submarines will replace Israel’s three original Dolphin-class boats that were commissioned in 1999–2000 and serve alongside the second-generation boats that have been built by TKMS, the third of which is expected to arrive in Israel later this year.

Col G indicated that the original boats could be sold to another country. “It’s too soon to know what we will do with our first three submarines. They have at least 10 years of operations and many hours at sea left,” he said.

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