DPA - Germany has delivered a fifth submarine to Israel.
Almost four weeks after the Dolphin-class submarine departed from the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) shipyard in the northern German port of Kiel, it arrived in the northern Israeli port of Haifa on Tuesday.
The TKMS vessels are among the most advanced non-nuclear submarines worldwide.
The four Dolphin-class submarines that Israel has already obtained are crucial to its sea power in both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Germany's government is paying one third of the cost of each vessel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a ceremony in Haifa port, thanked Germany for "its great contribution in strengthening [Israel's] sea power."
The German vessel would be equipped with advanced Israeli systems, he said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly said she feels a special obligation to Israel's security, in light of the Holocaust committed by the Nazis.
Critics in Germany have alleged Israel may adapt the subs to fire nuclear missiles.
But Netanyahu insisted: "Our submarine fleet is used first and foremost to deter our enemies who strive to extinguish us.
"They must know that Israel is capable of hitting back hard against anyone who seeks to hurt us," he said.
"Israel's citizens need to know that it is a very strong state," he added.
Each of the 68-meter Dolphins has 10 torpedo tubes and costs about 600 million euros (645 million dollars).
The latest, the fifth out of a total of six to be delivered to Israel, had earlier been named Rahav, Hebrew for "splendor."
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