The fact that Israel has nuclear weapons became public quite recently, although Tel Aviv has been concealing this fact carefully for several decades with the support of the United States and several Western European countries. Some Western experts estimate that the Jewish state may dispose of over 400 nuclear warheads which were created in the underground bunkers of a nuclear centre in Dimona (in the desert of Negev) and other secret laboratories. Obviously such a nuclear arsenal is unjustifiably big for a country declaring a commitment to its defensive policy instead of offensive one. According to some experts, these nuclear weapons were adopted by the Israeli army, including in the submarines carrying out continuous watch in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
Although almost everything regarding Israel’s submarine fleet has been kept in secret in this country, it has nevertheless been reported, in the recent edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, that the Federal Safety Council approved the delivery of the fifth submarine of Dolphin Project, made in the shipyards of Thyssen Krupp, to Israel.
The delivery of Dolphin-class submarines to Israel (4 were already delivered and the country is preparing for the reception of the fifth and sixth in the near future) has always been a contentious issue for German politicians. And not only because of the high-cost of the projects. They are the single most expensive combat systems in the armed forces of Israel and are estimated be worth more than $700 million each. As in the case of previous delivery of German submarines, it is expected that Germany will finance approximately one third of the total cost of the submarine, though it should be mentioned that the first two submarines were given to Israel by Germany free of charge as a “reimbursement of historical debt for the Holocaust.”
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