Drumbeat of war: Israel refurbishes nuclear submarine, Russia tests interceptor missile

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
By Paul Martin

December 20, 2011

MIDDLE EAST – Israel is wrapping up refurbishment of a nuclear-capable submarine removed discreetly from active duty nearly two years ago, the Jerusalem Post reported on Monday. The Israeli navy completed much of the project covertly to prevent hostile powers from learning that one of the nation’s three Dolphin-class submarines was unusable, according to the Post. The newspaper was permitted on Sunday to examine the vessel, which is being put back together at the country’s Haifa shipyard. The German-built submarines are considered capable of launching nuclear-armed cruise missiles. Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, but neither confirms nor denies its possession of an atomic arsenal. The $26.4 million update to the submarine included disassembly of the vessel’s piping, spigots and sound-based navigation and detection systems, project manager Maj. Doron Bareket said. The effort also involved mending fissures in the submarine’s outer structure, as well as cleansing its body and individual motor components. “Every vessel that comes in to the shipyard for maintenance and upgrades comes out with improved capabilities,” shipyard head Col. Eli Shouach said. “There are a select number of countries around the world which can independently renovate a submarine. Some have tried and failed.” Israel received the submarine from Germany in 1999, and the vessel is expected to remain in service for another 18 years. Berlin has agreed to provide Israel with three additional Dolphin submarines, according to a previous report. –GSN

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