Purchase contract signed: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in Kiel is building three Dakar-class submarines for Israel.
Good news for the Kiel location and for submarine construction. TKMS will build three submarines for the Israeli Navy in the coming years. The purchase contract for the three submarines of the Dakar class was signed in Israel on January 20, 2022. The order from Israel has an order volume of around three billion euros, of which the German government will bear around a third of the costs. According to TKMS, the plan is for the first submarine to be delivered to the Israeli Navy within nine years.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has relied on submarines from Kiel for the Israeli Navy for decades. Between 1992 and 2020, the Ministry of Defense had already had six Dolphin-class submarines built by HDW in Kiel, now part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The three new Dakar-class submarines are to replace the Dolphin-class submarines, which have been in service with the Israeli Navy since 1999 (INS Dolphin and INS Leviathan) and 2000 (INS Tekuma) respectively.
Submarines for Israel: Controversial arms deal
The delivery of three more submarines to the Israeli Navy is quite controversial, both in Israel and in Germany. Because actually the contract could have been signed several years ago, the purchase was already agreed in 2017. However, the submarine deal was put on hold for several years due to allegations of corruption, in which former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also questioned. Incidentally, the investigations in Israel are still not fully completed.
The delivery of the submarines to Israel is also controversial because, according to experts, they can be armed with nuclear weapons. And this applies not only to the three new Dakar-class submarines, but also to the three Dolphin-class submarines INS Tanin, INS Rahav and INS Drakon, which were delivered to Israel from 2014. And the submarines may already be equipped with nuclear-capable cruise missiles.