WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The latest German-built Dolphin-class submarine INS Rahav is en route to Haifa to be delivered to the Israeli Navy.
INS Rahav, given the Hebrew name for Greek god of the seas Poseidon, is one of the Israeli Defense Force's most expensive weapons. The vessel's voyage to Haifa comes roughly a decade after the Israeli government placed the order to German defense contractor Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft.
The company unveiled the submarine in April 2013, however more work was needed to ensure the vessel was fully operational. Rahav is the fifth submarine of its class to be delivered to the Israeli Navy, The Times of Israel reports.
Rahav is the second new-generation, air-independent propulsion submarine built after Israel's INS Tanin, which entered service in 2014. The submarines are capable of staying submerged for longer periods of time, according to IHS Janes. Rahav cost an estimated $2 billion to build.
"Submarines are a strategic tool in the IDF's defense arsenal. Israel is prepared to act at any time in any place to ensure the safety of Israel's citizens," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said when Rahav was unveiled in 2013.
Rahav is expected to reach its home port in Haifa in mid-January. After its arrival, the vessel will undergo a series of system installation programs before officially entering service later in 2016.