Berlin: The German government on Friday confirmed reports that two German submarines have been sold to Israel, but said the vessels are not equipped to carry nuclear weapons. Deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg said the two Dolphin-class submarines, called U212s, were ordered in November 2005 but would only be delivered to Israel in 2010.
“They are not designed to carry nuclear weapons,” he added.
Steg also confirmed that the German government would finance a part of the sale.
A spokesman for the defence ministry said the sale agreement between Israel and the submarine manufacturer, Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, was concluded on July 6.
It already has three German submarines — the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel's arsenal.
Germany, which believes it has a historic responsibility to help Israel because of the mass murder of Jews in World War II, donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War.
It split the cost of the third with the Jewish state.
According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,810 miles) and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.
Reports of the sale of the submarines have sparked controversy in Germany because of Israel's military offensive on Lebanon.
Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions
- F-35B/C - Naval Air Discussions (USN & USMC)
- Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates
- New Zealand Army Organisation
- Future of the French/Russian Mistral LHDs
- F-35 - International Participation
- Indonesia: 'green water navy'
- Iraq war/unrest/fighting
- Flanker Export Thread
- North Korean Military.
- Underwater UFO at Sweden
- Brazilian Air Force News and Discussion
- Iran Inaugurates Production Line of HAFEZ Radar System
- Royal Canadian Navy Discussions and updates
- Royal Air Force [RAF] discussions and updates
- Indian Navy Discussions and Updates