Report: German officials confirm submarines sold to Israel can fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Ofer Aderet 06/04/12)
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Submarines produced by Germany and supplied to Israel as part of an
extensive arms deal are equipped to enable the launch of nuclear-
tipped cruise missiles, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on
Last month, Israel received its fourth Dolphin –class submarine from
Germany, which is expected to become operational in 2013.
According to a senior Israel Navy officer speaking upon the arrival
of the craft, 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.
The first three submarines were given to Israel by Germany in the
late 1990s, with the German government footing most of the bill.
According to foreign reports, they are equipped with cruise missiles
that have a range of 1,500 kilometers and can carry nuclear warheads.
These reports say the submarines enable Israel to deliver a "second
strike" in the event of a nuclear attack.
In its report on Sunday, a report in German weekly Der Spiegel,
citing a months-long probe, confirmed that the submarines supplied by
Germany were indeed fitted to enable nuclear-warhead carrying cruise
Under the headline "Secret Operation: Samson," the German weekly
indicated that "after years of speculations as to the technical
armament of the submarines Germany exports to Israel," experts
in "Germany and in Jerusalem now confirm: They are armed with nuclear
"Berlin has known this for quite some time," the article added.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Der Spiegel in response to the
article, “The Germans can be proud that they are ensuring the
existence of the State of Israel for many years to come.”
In his column opening Sunday´s Der Spiegel, Editor in Chief Georg
Mascolo wrote that "months-long research proves that the submarines
Germany supplies the Israeli navy make use of equipment to carry
"Now, German officials admit, since they know what the use Israel is
making of German weapons," Mascolo added.
If the information acquired by Der Spiegel is indeed correct, it
could cause quite a bit of embarrassment to German Chancellor Angela
Merkel and her government, which have been consistent in their claim
that the submarines provided to Israel are not nuclear.
The German left-wing has dispensed harsh criticism over the supply of
the naval crafts to Israel, claims that Merkel has thus far been able
Most recently, the issue was stirred anew by famed German author
Gunter Grass, who penned a poem severely critical of Israel´s
policies and of Germany´s sale of submarines to the IDF.
In his poem "What must be Said," Grass said that “Israel’s nuclear
potential has been stealthily growing for years,” without being under
any kind of international supervision. Grass believes that Israel is
planning to arm submarines recently purchased from Germany with
“Germany could be responsible for a crime that can be foreseen,"
Grass wrote. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/04/12)
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