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Dolphin class

Patrol submarine

Dolphin class submarine

Three Dolphin class submarines provide Israel with interdiction and surveillance capabilities

 
 
Entered service 1999
Crew 30 men
Diving depth (operational) 350 m
Sea endurance 30 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 57.3 m
Beam 6.8 m
Draught 6.2 m
Surfaced displacement 1 640 tons
Submerged displacement 1 900 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 11 knots
Submerged speed 20 knots
Diesel engines 3 x 4 245 hp
Electric motors 1 x 3875 hp
Armament
Missiles Triten SAM missiles
Torpedoes 6 x 533-mm and 4 x 650-mm bow tubes
Other mines

 

   The Dolphin class coastal submarines replaced the previous Gal class in service with Israel's navy. The Gal class is essentially a German Type 206 which had served since the late 1970s and were deleted in 1999-2000. In 1988 the Israeli navy decided to purchase two boats of the Dolphin or Type 800 variant of the German Type 209 class, design by IKL. These were intended to replace three elderly Gal class submarines. On the basis of promised American FMS (Foreign Military Sales) funding, Israel contracted with the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of the Litton Corporation as prime contractor for the boats, to be built in German by Howaldtswerke of Kiel with participation by Thyssen Nordseewerke of Emden.

   Funding was made available in July 1989 and the contract became effective in January 1990, but in November it was cancelled because of funding pressures in the period leading up to the 1991 Gulf War. The programme was revived with German funding in April 1991, and then in July 1994 Israel exercised its option for a third boat of the same class.

   The first steel for the three boats was cut in April 1992, and the boats were laid down in October 1994, April 1995 and December 1996 for completion in July 1999, November 1999 and July 2000 as the Dolphin, Leviathan and Tekuma. The first two bots were donated by Germany, which also paid for half of the costs for the third boat. In 2005 two more Dolphin class submarines were ordered, with an option of third. These were delivered in 2009. Currently these are the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel's arsenal.

   The boats are similar to the Type 209 class except for internal revisions to permit the incorporation of a wet and dry compartment so that underwater swimmers can leave and re-enter the boat. It is also likely that the boats are fitted with the Triten anti-helicopter SAM system.

   The new submarines, ordered in 2005, will have air independent propulsion systems. It allows them to stay submerged for a much longer period.

   Primary anti-ship and anti-submarine armament is the STN Atlas DM2A4 Seehecht wire-guided torpedo carrying a 260-kg (573-lb) warhead to a range of 13 000 m (14,215 yards) in active mode at 35 kts, or to 28 000 m (30,620 yards) in passive mode at 23 kts. Pending the delivery of the complete DM2A4 package from Germany, a number of NT37E torpedoes are included in the torpedo fit. Tube-laid mines are an alternative to the 16 torpedoes, and other weapons that can also be launched are up to five UGM-84C Sub-Harpoon underwater-launched anti-ship missiles, or cruise missiles of Israeli design and manufacture, fitted with conventional or nuclear wareads. In addition to the six 533-mm (21-in) conventional tubes, the boats also have four 650-mm (25.6-in tubes optimized for the launch of swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs) but with provision for the carriage of liners so that they can also be used as conventional torpedo tubes.

   The boats are painted in blue and green for reduced visibility in the shallow water of the East Mediterranean.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Dolphin 1994 1996 1999

in service

Leviathan 1995 1997 2000

in service

Tekuma 1996 1998 2000

in service

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Dolphin class submarine

Dolphin class submarine

Dolphin class submarine

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