Dolphin - AP - 3.5.12
The Dolphin submarine being built at a shipyard in Kiel, northern Germany on March 27, 2012. Photo by AP
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Israel received a fourth Dolphin submarine from Germany on Thursday. The new sub, called "Tanin," will be put into operation in 2013.

According to a senior Israel Navy officer, the "submarine has a range for everything," adding that it needs to refuel and charge its batteries only once in a long while.

"This submarine can stay underwater for longer," he added, saying it had both"visible and invisible" abilities and was meant to operate in the Mediterranean.

In a ceremony in Germany attended by senior members of Israel's Defense Ministry and the IDF, including the Defense Ministry director general Udi Shani, Israel Navy commander Ram Rotberg and German authorities. The officials inaugurated the new ship by s a bottle of champagne on it.

The Navy plans to conduct exercises with the submarine, before putting it into operation around mid-2013.

Israel is preparing to receive a fifth and sixth submarine from the Germans in the near future.

Israel's Navy has had to contend with a serious rise in challenges on multiple fronts in recent years.

"The challenges today are much wider, and the submarines are one import aspect of this," said the officer. "The Middle East has changed – including Egypt and Syria, and Lebanon is the same Lebanon – and we must be able to operate in several arenas and on several fronts at the same time."

According to foreign sources, the German submarines are equipped to carry Israel-made cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 kilometers and the ability to carry nuclear warheads.

The same reports claim that the submarines are meant to give Israel "second-strike" abilities in case of a nuclear attack.

Read this article in Hebrew