Google Earth imagery from 31 July 2014 shows the new submarine docks at Haifa Naval Base in Israel. The docks are to accommodate the second batch of three Dolphin-class submarines. (Google Earth / DigitalGlobe)
The Israel Navy has received two new tugs that have been specifically designed to help its new Dolphin submarines dock at Haifa Naval Base.
Commander Alon Friedman, head of Naval Engineering, said the tugs were fitted with azimuth stern drive propulsion systems, which can rotate through 360° to provide high levels of manoeuvrability. "This gives very good control," he said.
"The new submarines will have very limited space when approaching their docks," Cdr Friedman said. "So we need good manoeuvrability in our tugboats."
Named Franco and Ze'ev Yam (Hake Fish), the tugs were built at Israel Shipyards from a design developed by Spain's Cintranaval-Defcar to Israeli Navy specifications.
Israel ordered three additional Dolphin submarines from Germany to augment the three it already has in service. In contrast to the existing three, the new boats are being built with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems that allow them to stay submerged for far longer.
INS Tanin , the first of the new batch, became operational in September 2014, INS Rahav is expected to arrive at Haifa later this year, and the third, which was ordered in 2011, five years after the other two, is scheduled to arrive before 2020.
Israel should be prepped. The world does its best to hate them as a country and a race. They're just subscribing to simple self defense and preservation. Like any country with enemies would.I don't know why Israel is investing on submarines, but the fact is that they have one of the strongest armies in the world and not many allies except for the US, so they should be prepared!