New German Subs Could Give Israel 2nd Strike Capability

According to German reports, Israel is acquiring another two German Dolphin class submarines. The subs may provide Israel with second strike capability, essential for deterring nuclear conflict.

Scott Shiloh , | updated: 16:17

Two German weeklies, Der Spiegel and Focus, have reported that Israel will be purchasing two Dolphin class submarines from Germany. The purchase will cost $1.17 billion, with one-third of the cost to be covered by the German government.

Germany provided Israel with three Dolphin class submarines after the first Gulf War. Two of the subs were supplied free of charge after it was revealed that German companies helped Saddam Hussein develop his weapons program. The third submarine was purchased at a cost of $350 million.

During that war in 1991, the Iraqi leader fired 39 Scud missiles onto Israeli territory.

According to media speculation, the new submarines will provide Israel with second strike capability, in the event that Iran, or any other state, attacks Israel with nuclear weapons. Some reports suggest that the torpedo hatches on the Dolphin submarines acquired by Israel have been widened to accommodate nuclear missiles.

Second strike capability is essential for deterring nuclear attack. The underwater subs, which are very difficult to detect, would ensure that Israel could strike back and devastate any country that launched a first strike against it.

The fact that both the United States and the Soviet Union possessed significant second strike capability is largely credited for preventing nuclear war between those two states.