Israeli Dolphin subs upgraded for missiles, larger fuel capacity

Western naval sources report that Israel’s German-made Dolphin submarines have been heavily modified: its torpedo tubes enlarged to accommodate missiles, new electronics installed and its fuel capacity expanded to keep the vessel at sea for 50 days without refueling. Eight years after receiving the first three Dolphin subs from Germany and two more last month, naval sources rate them the most modern non-nuclear subs in any world navy.
Israel is reported by foreign sources to have equipped the new Dolphin-class subs with Israel-made 1,500-km range cruise missiles carrying 200 kiloton nuclear warheads and 135-kilometer range US-made Harpoon missiles also fitted with nuclear warheads. These missiles, fired through the newly-enlarged 650mm-26-inch tubes, can reach Iranian coastal targets including its nuclear sites as well as naval, port and Revolutionary Guards facilities.
The Dolphins’ expanded fuel tanks enable them to cover distances of up to 10,000 kilometers from their Mediterranean home port (instead of 8,000 kilometers heretofore) and spend more time – up to 50 days – off the Iranian coast.
debkafile‘s military sources note: Their presence outside Israeli waters is a powerful deterrent to any surprise nuclear or conventional attack, endowing Israel with an instantaneous second-strike nuclear capability.
In June, an Israeli Dolphin passed through the Suez Canal for the first time, escorted by Egyptian Navy vessels, relaying a message to Tehran that Cairo would open the waterway to Israeli warships for a short cut to the Persian Gulf (instead of the long way round the Cape of Good Hope) should the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program get out of hand.
On Sept 30, debkafile reported the delivery of the last two Dolphin-class U212 subs Israel ordered from the German HDW shipyards at Kiel, raising its total submarine fleet to five.
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Unlike the first three, the new U212 Dolphins have a fuel cell based on an air-independent propulsion system which enables them to stay under water for more than a week without surfacing. They are also very quiet and hard for Iranian sea hunters to detect.

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