IDF welcomes its fifth submarine

The Israel Navy’s fifth submarine, the INS Rahav, entered the Navy’s base on the shores of Haifa Tuesday and officially joined the Navy’s submarine fleet.

The previous submarine to join the Navy, the INS Tanin, was handed over to Israel in September of 2014. Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg said at the time that it “can dive deeper, go farther for a longer time and can operate at a level we have not seen until today.”

A sixth one is to be delivered by 2019, and Israel has even been reported to be interested in ordering three more. Rotberg said Tuesday that it will be named the INS Dakar, after the submarine by the same name that was lost in 1968, with all 69 crewmembers.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the ceremony: “Our submarine fleet serves to deter enemies who seek to annihilate us. They will not achieve their aim. They need to know that Israel can strike with great force at whoever attempts to harm it.

“And the citizens of Israel need to know that Israel is a very strong country,” he added, “and that we are doing and will do everything to protect you, everywhere and in every theater. In the kinetic and cybernetic world, with the cyber array we are constructing. In the air and above the air, in space. On the ground and beneath the ground, facing the tunnel threat. At sea and underwater, with the submarine fleet.”

President Reuven Rivlin called the INS Rahav “68 meters and 2,100 tons of sophistication, power and innovation.” Without a doubt, he added, “the INS Rahav is the most fearsome, advanced and expensive war machine currently in the IDF’s possession.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the participants and guests at the ceremony that the INS Rahav, “and its sister, the INS Tanin, along with the three additional submarines, will enable the Navy to continue to operate in unison with the other units and arrays in the IDF, to stymie our enemies’ nefarious intentions to disrupt our lives.”

The submarines and the warriors operating them “will emerge from the depths silently, stealthily and creatively,” he added. “Sometimes they will even return to their bases without leaving a trace.”

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