Photo: IDF

Israel signs $3.4b sub deal with German firm

Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems will build 3 advanced submarines for the Israeli Navy, announced the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD).

By Erin Viner

The first of the submarines, part a new series called Dakar, will be delivered within 9 years, said the IMoD statement.

“The signing of the submarines agreement significantly strengthens Israel’s national security. Acquiring the submarines will ensure continuity in capabilities as well as our strategic supremacy for years to come,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

“Since the establishment of this government, we have taken strict care to proceed properly and in a substantive manner regarding all aspects of Israel’s security procurements, including on this matter,” said the Israeli leader, while thanking “all those who took part in bringing the deal to fruition after long delay, especially my friends, the former Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, and the current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz also thanked Berlin for “its assistance in advancing the agreement and for its commitment to Israel’s security.”

“I am confident that the new submarines will upgrade the capabilities of the Israeli Navy and will contribute to Israel’s security superiority in the region,” Israel’s top defense leader said of the $3.4 billion (€3 billion) deal, which also includes construction of a training simulator in Israel and the supply of spare parts.

“The Dakar class will be of a completely new design, which is to be specifically engineered to fulfil the operational requirements of the Israeli Navy,” Thyssenkrupp said.

The parties also signed an industrial strategic cooperation agreement that amounts to more than €850 million, said the IMoD.

Israel’s Navy operates 5 German-built Dolphin-class submarines, with a 6th under construction in the Federal Republic. The 3 new Dakar submarines are set to replace an equal number of of the aging Dolphins.

The development comes just ahead of debate by the Israeli Cabinet over the formation of an investigatory panel into the country’s multi-million-dollar purchase of submarines and missile boats from Germany between 2009 and 2016. Several Israelis – including a businessman, a former naval officer and a former cabinet minister – were charged last year with bribery, money laundering and tax invasion in connection to the deals. Thyssenkrupp said that its own internal investigation found no evidence of corruption in its handling of the sales, and Israel has not taken any action against the shipbuilding conglomerate.