09/22/2014 16:38 | The Jerusalem Post|
The Israel Navy will operate off any "enemy coast" to safeguard Israel, navy chief Adm. Ram Rothberg vowed on Monday, during a memorial ceremony held at sea by sailors from the newest submarine, the INS Tanin, for the personnel of the INS Dakar, which sank 270 miles off the coast of Haifa in 1968.
"We will guard, protect, and act in any enemy coast, and fight bravely for the navy and the state of Israel," Rothberg said.
The ceremony, held over the spot where the INS Dakar sunk to the bottom of the sea, was also attended by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. "Here, in the heart of the Mediterranean, we lower the anchor and stop to meet a new naval power on its way to its home port on the Israeli coast," Gantz said, referring to the INS Tanin.
"Without a doubt, this power, operationally and strategically, is very important for Israel, the IDF and the navy," he added. "More than four decades passed since INS Dakar's last voyage... Although the threats have changed, and today you have the most modern equipment, the most advanced technologies, and the most quality means, the mission remains the same mission that the INS Dakar personnel were sent on, and the responsibility is the same. To protect the Israeli coast, sea waters, and working with all of the IDF's branches to achieve the relevant goals."
Verses from the Book of Psalms were also read at the memorial.
Israel’s fourth submarine, the INS Tanin, is en route to the navy’s Haifa base after leaving its German shipyard earlier this month.
The first of the navy's second generation Dolphin class submarine, the INS uses air independent propulsion technology to stay submerged for longer than older Dolphin-class vessels.
“Despite being conventional, its propulsion system allows the INS Tanin to stay underwater for many days, making it more covert,” a naval source said in September. “The fuel cells on board this submarine significantly extend its ability to be underwater without the need to resurface.”
A fifth submarine, the INS Rahav, is expected to arrive at Haifa Port in six to seven months, and a sixth submarine will join the fleet by the end of the current decade, the officer said.
There are some 50 submarine personnel on board the INS Tanin, which left Germany to embark on a voyage spanning more than 7,500 kilometers, most of which it spent underwater.
The INS Tanin is set to arrive at a specialized dock built by the navy at Haifa, which allows for the advanced submarines to be kept separately, secretly and in a convenient manner. The dock allows for flexibility, and enables the submarines to be on call 24 hours a day.
The new submarines will bring with them many unique capabilities, such as lengthy intelligence gathering.
Lt.-Cmdr. Y., who was commander of the navy’s submarine school until his retirement last week, told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month, “Submarines bring a level of intelligence to Israel that cannot be achieved by other units.”
“Drones that fly in the air can be shot down,” he said. “But a submarine can stay in enemy territory for weeks, and no one knows it’s there. It can lurk off coastal regions without any problem at all. The level of intelligence this brings is not heard about by the public. All of our operations build on past operations.”