The Israeli Navy is typically mum on its activities. In a shocking reveal this week, the Israeli Navy admitted that most of its submarine fleet has been active and operational for the first time in years.
According to data presented by the Navy, 58 percent of the amount of time Israeli submarines spent at sea were within operational deployments. The remaining 42 percent of time was used for training activities. In 2012, operational deployment figures were at a mere 36 percent. Similar numbers were also accounted for during the 2011 and 2010 years.
In 2013, Israeli submarines conducted 54 special operations, which is a sharp rise from previous years. Special operations included deployments off the Lebanese coastline as well as missions lasting several weeks that took the submarines thousands of kilometers from Israeli water.
The new data reflects a shift in tactics and development of threats against Israel. Hezbollah, the ruling party and terrorist organization in Lebanon, has made it clear that it will attack Israel. The question is when. The Islamic Republic of Iran has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. The increased use of submarines as well as preparing Israeli Navy-men to conduct attacks from deep-water holds will allow the IDF to broaden its scope of operational capabilities.
Col. G., Commander of the Submarine Flotilla, said that the Israeli Navy has “made last year thousands of hours of submarine operation activity.” He revealed that Israel is planning on receiving “two new Dolphin submarines, INS Tanin and INS Rahav, [which] will arrive to Israel from Germany in the second half of the year.”
Col. G. added that the new submarines are “very technologically sophisticated vessels that require highly trained and professional crews to operate them.” He added that the Israeli Navy is broadening its scope of operations, making sure deployments take place “in different theaters, including the northern theater, to ensure the security of the State of Israel.”
According to Israel Defense, the new submarines will be able to remain undercover for longer periods of time. The new submarines “will not require rising to the waterline to charge air to produce energy for the engines, as opposed to the existing ones. A special system will generate its own electricity for generators which will charge the engines time and again. This will allow a longer stay at sea, at long ranges, in addition to a greater capacity of carrying weapons.”
The new submarines will expand Israel’s fleet to a total of six. They will be docked at the Haifa Naval Base in newly constructed specialized docks.