Israel Purchases German Submarines
Germany will build two more diesel-electric submarines for Israel, supplementing their three existing Dolphin-class boats (apparently a third new submarine is projected, but it has not yet been ordered). The sale has been the subject of great speculation in the Middle East, as the new submarines are described as missile-capable. Although that probably means no more than that they fire the Harpoon antiship missile already in the Israeli inventory, many commentators in the region interpreted it to mean that the submarines can carry and fire nuclear-armed cruise missiles. Note, however, that in 2004 much publicity was accorded an announcement that Israel had developed a surface-to-surface cruise missile, which turned out to be a version of the small air-launched Delilah, whose warhead weighs all of 30 kilograms (66 pounds). That hardly seems enough to be nuclear. Range is only about 150 miles, again hardly enough to redress the Middle East balance of power.