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Israel inaugurates fifth Dolphin submarine

April 30, 2013 at 6:43 AM

KIEL, Germany, April 30 (UPI) -- Israel inaugurated INS Rahav, its fifth Dolphin class submarine, in a ceremony attended by Israel and German officials, the Israeli army said.

The ceremony took place Monday in Kiel, Germany, and was attended by Israel Defense Ministry official Ehud (Udi) Shani and Israel navy commander Rear Adm. Ram Rutberg and German counterparts. The Israeli navy already operates four Dolphin class submarines.

Rahav is scheduled to arrive in Israel this year, the Israeli army said in a statement. The Dolphin class submarine is considered to be one of the most advanced in the world and foreign media reports say Israel's submarine fleet can carry nuclear warheads.

The vessel features an air-independent propulsion system that allows for extended mission range and endurance, Defensenews.com said.

The army said the submarine was purchased after an extensive development and acquisition process led by the Ministry of Defense and Israeli navy.

Germany funded costs for Israel's first two Dolphin class submarine, shared half of the costs for Israel's third submarine and has underwritten about one-third of the costs for the fourth and fifth vessels, Defensenews.com said.

A contract was signed last year for the sixth Dolphin class submarine in which Berlin agreed to underwrite some of the cost, the site said. That vessel is being built by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems at the German shipyard.

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