Israel purchased two German-made “Dolphin” submarines that have the
capability to carry nuclear warheads. The submarines are built with a
cost of 1.3 billion US Dollars but Germany will pay one third of the
bill. Military experts said that Israel is sending a message to Iran
that it can strike back if attacked.
The submarines have diesel-electric propulsion systems that enable them to remain under the water for longer periods of time than the three nuclear arm-capable submarines Israel already owns, the Israeli Newspaper Jerusalem post reported.
Paul Beaver, a London-based independent defense analyst said that the new submarines will not only provide Israel with the essential second-strike capabilities but will also enable Israel to carry out a first strike.
Beaver added that the Dolphin submarines have a technology that makes them undetectable and gives them defense abilities in case of attack. “They are one of the best conventional submarines”, he stated.
Also, Beaver added that Israel is believed to posses nuclear-capable missiles known as “Jericho-1 and Jericho-2”, those missiles are buried underground and would not be damaged even after a nuclear strike.
An expert on Israel's atomic weapons capabilities, Michael Karpin, said that the nuclear-armed submarines provide better second-strike capabilities than missiles launched from the air.
According to German officials, the contract for the new submarines was signed on July 6, 2006. Also, the Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that the submarines will be operational shortly.
Israel has the sixth largest stockpile of atomic arms in the world, the arms include hundreds of warheads.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council continued its calls for Iran to halt uranium enrichment which can produce atomic bombs.
The UN gave Iran an ultimatum until August 31 before sanctions are imposed. Iran said that its uranium enrichment and its studies on the technology is intended to generate electricity.
Moreover, Karpin said that the nuclear armed submarines are better than planes and that they can operate for “almost unlimited period of time without being hit”.
Winfried Nachtwei, the national security spokesperson for the Greens, slammed the deal and said that Germany did not obtain any guarantee that the submarines will not be used for carrying nuclear weapons.