Dolphin - Appelbaum - 8.5.12
An Israeli Dolphin-class submarine in the Mediterranean. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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The cost of building the three Dolphin class submarines on Israel's naval shopping list will reach 1.4 billion euros, of which a third will be covered by the German government.

Germany has also undertaken to make 400 million euros worth of defense and other purchases from Israeli suppliers, as part of the financing arrangements.

Tanin (Crocodile ), the first of the three subs, and the fourth one that Israel has purchased from Germany since 1998, was formally accepted by the Israeli navy at a ceremony at the Kiel shipyard in Hamburg last Thursday, where the subs are being built. The $500 million boat, the most expensive vessel ever commissioned by the Israeli Navy, will arrive in Israel and go into service in 2013, after trials.

"More than anything else this ceremony represents the strong and unique link between Germany and Israel, especially in light of the intensifying regional situation and challenges," Udi Shani, Defense Ministry director general, said at the ceremony, which took place at the shipyard of the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipbuilding company, headquartered in Kiel. HDW developed and built the Dolphin class diesel-electric submarines for Israel.

Dolphin class subs are considered the most advanced in the world, versatile and with wide-ranging capabilities. The fifth Dolphin is scheduled to be delivered to the Israeli Navy in 2014. Defense Minster Ehud Barak last month approved terms for a sixth submarine with more advanced capabilities than the previous five that will be completed in 2017.

Defense sources said yesterday that part of the offset purchases that Germany has committed to make in the Dolphin deal will be used in building the contracted submarines. The rest will be in the form of defense and other procurements from Israeli industry.