The Israeli Navy’s combat scuba divers and marine commando forces are currently undergoing training before receiving the fourth Dolphin-class submarine, which is currently being tested.
The German-built submarine was officially handed over following the acquisition and development process led by the Israeli Ministry of Defence and the navy, according to a well-placed source.
Initially, 10% more scuba divers will be trained and the new soldiers will join the ranks of the Israeli Navy train naval commando unit, Shayetet 13, for the fourth submarine, following the completion of submarine tests.
Israel’s Defence Minister Lieutenant General Ehud Barak said: "The submarine will amplify the capabilities of the IDF and Israel’s strength."
At present, the navy has three Dolphin-class submarines, which were delivered between 1999 and 2000 and manufactured by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), a unit of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.
The fourth and fifth submarines were ordered in 2005, with Germany contributing a total of €333m, which is equal to about a third of the submarine’s cost.
Capable of conducting long-range security missions along national borders, the small diesel-powered Dolphin submarines are equipped with 10 torpedo tubes, can carry nuclear warheads and are designed for coastal patrols.
Operations for the fourth Dolphin submarine are expected in early 2013, while the fifth vessel is scheduled to enter into service with the Israeli Navy in 2014, according to industry sources.
The new class of submarines are expected to replace the ageing Gal-class submarines, which entered service in 1977.