Foreign sources: Israel’s new Dolphin II class subs is capable of launching nuclear cruise missiles

Dolphin II submarine

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Dolphin II submarine
Dolphin II submarine

Israel’s fourth Dolphin II class submarine is currently making its way to its home port in Israel after an 8,000-kilometer voyage by sea, all the way from the ThyssenKrupp docks in Kiel. The submarine and its journey had been kept top secret in order to prevent any knowledge of the unique technical specifications of the submarine and its arms systems, which were developed in Israel. Powered by a diesel engine, The Dolphin II is considered the most efficient vessel of its kind. The submarine features a 7-rotor propeller conferring her with unique operational advantages.

What does this advanced model comprise? First, a conventional system of six 53′ torpedo launch pads and four 65′ ones. According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, the submarine is capable of using these pads to mine enemy ports. The Sub’s non-conventional capabilities include four 650′ missile launchers and six 650′ launchers. According to the FAS (Federation of American Scientists), the Dolphin II can launch – while underwater – conventional cruise missiles as well as RAFAEL-made Popeye Turbo missiles.

iHLS Israel Homeland Security

Moreover, according to foreign press publications, Israeli submarines carried out missile experiments as early as May 13 2000, when two Israeli Navy submarine launched such missiles in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Sri Lanka. According to various publications, Popeye Turbo missile are capable of carrying plutonium-based nuclear warheads.

Dolphin II subs feature additional weaponry such as Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Triton anti-helicopter missiles. Another feature released for publication is the ability to dispatch, while submerged, commando divers to operational missions.

The sub’s unique propulsion systems enables a top cruising speed of 37kph and 20kph while submerged. The submarine is capable of diving as deep as 350 meters. Its range is estimated at 19,300 kilometers and it can operate afar for 80 days without having to return to its homeport. Another hitherto covert feature is its system capable of producing oxygen from seawater.

The cost of the three new Dolphin II subs is 2 billion USD. The German government, according to German press, granted Israel about one quarter, and the rest is funded by Israel. Sources at the quay report the new sub is 68.6 meters long, compared with the previous model, which was 57.3 m long. This is the largest ship built in Germany since WWII.