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Israel’s Navy Looking To Modernize Its Submarine Fleet

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Israel's Navy Looking To Modernize Its Submarine Fleet

Rear Admiral Yossi Ashkenazi. Click to see full-size image

Based on a post of released by oleggranovsky.livejournal.com

Israeli outlets Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth published an interview with Rear Adm. Yossi Ashkenazi, head of the Israeli Navy’s Materiel Command. In it he speaks of the necessity of Israel to procure new submarines, among other things.

Brigadier Ashkenazi stated:

“It drives me crazy. We do not call the new submarines seventh, eighth and ninth, because in reality they replace the first, second and third. They tell me:

Do you want nine submarines, in this arena? – as if we’re fighting against the army of Sudan.

But we are replacing Leviathan, Dolphin and Tkuma, whose service life is coming to an end in the next decade. There is not the slightest doubt that the new submarines are necessary.”

Thus, at the end of the process Israel will have 6 submarines. Currently the Israeli navy has 5 active submarines (3 Dolphin-class and 2 Dolphin-2 or Dolpinh AIP-class) the 6th (“Dragon”, Dolphin-AIP-class) is under construction, its arrival is expected in 2021.

The Rear Admiral in the interview mentions an even longer period, 3.5 years, which would mean the end of 2022.

The first 3 submarines have reached the age of 20 years, at the time of completion of the purchase of new submarines (Dakar type) they will already be 30.

Ashkenazi claims that there is no doubt at all that the Israeli Navy needs 3 new submarines.

The contract should have already been signed and the construction process should have already begun.

In the meantime, Ashkenazi hopes that the contract will be signed in 2020, which will allow the Israeli Navy to get the first boat of the new type in 2028-2029.

The overall process of working on a submarine project, from deciding on a purchase to getting first in class, takes about 15 years. The Navy began work on the topic around 2015, so despite the delays, there are chances that by 2029 the first submarine may be delivered.

According to Ashkenazi, prior to signing the contract, the terms of reference are being set out. These include: Selecting the base type and manufacturer, deciding on each component and system, for example, what type of periscope to use, which batteries to install, etc.

The most important advantage of Dolphin-2 and Dakar over Dolphin is the presence of an air-independent power plant (which is where the AIP comes from – air-independent propulsion).

This allows the submarine to be underwater for many days in a row, without rising to the surface or to the periscope depth, i.e. reducing the chances of detection.

Ashkenazi further mentions alternatives to purchasing new ones, such as modernizing the Dolphin-class.

Such a modernization will make it possible to extend the life of a submarine, but it will not allow installing AIP and a number of other modern systems on it, i.e. will not contribute to the survival of the submarine and its successful actions in case of a war scenario.

For example, in recent years, low-frequency active sonar, with a much greater detection range, have come into service in various countries.

One of the means to reduce the chances of detection is changing the shape of the submarine’s hull, abandoning the cylindrical shapes that have been widely used since the Second World War, and switching to the diamond shape.

The superstructure (bridge) of the boat will have a much more hydrodynamic shape.

The Dakar-class is to be constructed with stealth in mind, a system called “Khozak Matara.” The hull of the submarine will scatter and absorb incoming sonar waves returning them weakened, as if there was terrain and not a metal construction.

The diamond shape and a number of other secret measures will contribute to this principle.

The cost of a Dolphin-2-class submarine is about 500 million euros per unit.

Before signing the contract, it is difficult to name the price of new boats. For example, Norway received such submarines for 700-900 million euros a piece. But there are a huge number of parameters affecting this final price.

Ashkenazi noted that having visited German submarines, similar to Dolphin-class, he was impressed by their relative spaciousness. It is difficult to turn in the Dolphin-class, everything is loaded with various equipment. As it turned out, the level of duplication of systems in the German Navy is much lower, respectively, there is more space it also makes the submarines cheaper, but less reliable.

The purchase of Dakar-class will allow the Israeli Navy to stand on the same technological level, with the French and British navies, depending on which submarines from the respective navies are being compared.

In identifying threats in the construction of the fleet as a whole, not only countries in conflict with Israel are considered, not only the threat of Hamas and Hezbollah, but also the naval development of countries with which at this stage there is no conflict such as Egypt or Turkey.

Ashkenazi talked about internal research and development in the Navy.

For example, in the division of software of the Navy, a unified command and control system of the Naval Forces Navy is now being created. The system will allow all types of boats and ships, whether it be a corvette, a missile boat, Tsaa, Shaldag or Dvor, to see a single picture of the maritime situation.

According to Ashkenazi, for the four years and more he was in office, the Navy personnel spent several thousands of hours at sea during various secret operations against Iran’s activities, as well as those of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Navy engineers and technicians carried out various activities to support the operations.

“Often urgent with a warning just hours earlier, often complex, requiring non-trivial engineering solutions, including hundreds of kilometers from the shores of Israel,” Ashkenazi said.

The Navy as a whole and the Technical Directorate in particular are working on robotic boats for various tasks. The vision of Ashkenazi is an autonomous patrol boat capable of independently analyzing the situation at sea and returning independently from the task to the base.

Ashkenazi’s successor would have to carry on several major projects. Such as the replacement of the Saar-4.5 missile boats, and parts of the Navy’s patrol ships.

Apparently, these modernizations will happen with a large US aid, while Ashkenazi hopes that the solution will be combined: buying certain components in the USA, cooperating with US companies, but doing key work in Israel.

But even if the patrol boats are ordered in the USA, Ashkenazi hopes that the missile boats will be Israeli-made.

Israel's Navy Looking To Modernize Its Submarine Fleet

Click to see full-size image

Israel's Navy Looking To Modernize Its Submarine Fleet

Click to see full-size image

Israel's Navy Looking To Modernize Its Submarine Fleet

Click to see full-size image

Israel's Navy Looking To Modernize Its Submarine Fleet

Click to see full-size image


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I love my country and my army.

Concrete Mike

Translation: Handouts please dear vassals!!!

Also ouch not a single mention of american designs…




Nope, they know they can just keep guilting the self-hating German pussies over ‘muh holocaust’ and get their subs at cost-price. Plus America only makes long-range nuclear subs that don’t really suit Israel.

Brother Ma

Exactly,no mention of the brand new Dolphins given to them by Germany?

Did the fool really say Hezbollah !! They are a naval power now? Haha

AM Hants

Did they lose 3, by accident, that the MSM never noticed?

AM Hants

Must admit to finding myself laughing, for a variety of reasons.

1) Rear Adm. Yossi Ashkenazi 2) They believe they will have the same submarine power as the French and UK, by, purchasing elecro-diesel subs? UK and France have nuclear submarines, both attack and deterrent. 3) How many submarines has Israel allegedly lost, over the last couple of years?


Nuclear submarines are not necessarily better, they are very noisy and easily detected. Nuclear submarines are mostly used as missile platforms, they are not stealthy hunters like conventional subs.

AM Hants

Nuclear submarines, excluding the missiles, the actual submarine is powered by a nuclear reactor, which allows them more flexibility than an electro-diesel. Although I do like the Russian ‘black hole’ electro-diesel, just not a fan of the European electro-diesel subs.

Brother Ma

I am not an expert but i have heard that diesels are very quiet compared to nuclear-powered subs. Yet ,Australia bought them for such a reason and they turned out to be crap! Made inSweden and very noisy! Rubbish that rattled. So much for quiet subs.


Australia bought those subs from a company that had never designed or built a submarine before. The RAN didn’t want them and they had trouble crewing them, submariners are all volunteers. Corruption in Australian defense procurement is very common, the F35 is a perfect example, it just doesn’t fit Australia’s needs.

AM Hants

Not at all. We got rid of our electro-diesels, which were seriously noisy, and do believe Canada, took the ‘Upholder’ class. Replacing them with nuclear attack submarines. The balistics, have a different role.

The UK, US and French nuclear submarines are fairly old. Astute, came in seriously late and we had to retire the 6 ‘Swiftsure’ class and extend the life of the ‘Trafalgar’ class, whilst waiting for the ‘Astute’ class, to enter active service. Believe there are 3 out of 7, in active service, with the rest in various rebuild stages. The new deterrents are due to come on board, in 2029, so with delays, make it 2039.

The US is also reliant on aged submarines and has no electro-diesel. She is replacing her attack submarines. The same with France, who I believe are replacing her attack submarines and might have a couple of newbies in active service and again, her deterrent submarines are quite old. Again, they have no electro-diesel.

Russia, has a variety of submarines, including the ‘Black Hole’ electro-diesel, which are seriously quiet. She also has new balistics, with more rolling off the conveyor belts, together with new ‘attack/precision guided’ submarines.

Air Independent Propulsion submarines, are quieter than nuclear submarines, however, they are also limited in what they can and cannot do.

Do believe Wiki, provides a basic summary, to help explain things. Even though I seldom cite Wiki, I am too lazy to go searching.

‘…Air-independent propulsion (AIP) is any marine propulsion technology that allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen (by surfacing or using a snorkel). AIP can augment or replace the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels.

Modern non-nuclear submarines are potentially stealthier than nuclear submarines; a nuclear ship’s reactor must constantly pump coolant, generating some amount of detectable noise (see acoustic signature). Non-nuclear submarines running on battery power or AIP, on the other hand, can be virtually silent. While nuclear-powered designs still dominate in submergence times and deep-ocean performance, small, high-tech non-nuclear attack submarines are highly effective in coastal operations and pose a significant threat to less-stealthy and less-maneuverable nuclear submarines.

AIP is usually implemented as an auxiliary source, with the traditional diesel engine handling surface propulsion. Most such systems generate electricity which in turn drives an electric motor for propulsion or recharges the boat’s batteries. The submarine’s electrical system is also used for providing “hotel services”—ventilation, lighting, heating etc.—although this consumes a small amount of power compared to that required for propulsion.

AIP can be retrofitted into existing submarine hulls by inserting an additional hull section. AIP does not normally provide the endurance or power to replace atmospheric dependent propulsion, but allows longer submergence than a conventionally propelled submarine. A typical conventional power plant provides 3 megawatts maximum, and an AIP source around 10% of that. A nuclear submarine’s propulsion plant is usually much greater than 20 megawatts.



Germany supplying the free submarines again?


Hey , lets not forget, today, happy 4th of July Isramerica !




Lazy Gamer

Not many ports and seas to hide in. lol These are illogical. Most of the time, Israel’s opponents are not rational. Hell, some of them have all the incentive to go to their paradise. lol


Let’s make it anti-Semitic “Jewmarine” … ☕


Israel knows that they would end in 2019 because there is political extremism in Israel and world leaders understood that Israel is an extra burden on their finance. The Israeli demands are so high. Israel are busy destroying world and butchering innocent civilians.


Israel needs a modern navy, incl submarines. Not only for Hamas and Iran, but it needs to protect its increasing off shore gasfields and pipelines. The more so as Turkey is more and more becoming a rogue state. Israel is investing in naval cooperation with Egypt, Greece and Cyprus and US is supporting this.

Melville Pouwels

spare no expense israel,.american tax payers will pick up the tab[ so u wont be buying american ?]

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