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German submarines for Israel outfitted with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles

on 19 Comments

In December, Allison covered the decision by Germany to allow the sale of nuclear-capable dolphin submarines to Israel. The German newspaper Der Spiegel is now reporting that Israel is arming them with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

From Spiegel Online:


Germany is helping Israel to develop its military nuclear capabilities, SPIEGEL has learned. According to extensive research carried out by the magazine, Israel is equipping submarines that were built in the northern German city of Kiel and largely paid for by the German government with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The missiles can be launched using a previously secret hydraulic ejection system. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told SPIEGEL that Germans should be “proud” that they have secured the existence of the state of Israel “for many years.” . . .

The submarines are built by the German shipyard HDW in Kiel. Three submarines have already been delivered to Israel, and three more will be delivered by 2017. In addition, Israel is considering ordering its seventh, eighth and ninth submarines from Germany.

The German government recently signed the contract for the delivery of the sixth vessel. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, Chancellor Angela Merkel made substantial concessions to the Israelis. Not only is Berlin financing one-third of the cost of the submarine, around €135 million ($168 million), but it is also allowing Israel to defer its payment until 2015.

Merkel had tied the delivery of the sixth submarine to a number of conditions, including a demand that Israel stop its expansionist settlement policy and allow the completion of a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip, which is partially financed with German money. So far, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met none of the terms.

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19 Responses

  1. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    June 4, 2012, 1:29 pm

    I am glad the story got picked up. There’s also a six-page, followup article (in English) on the Spiegel website:

    There’s yet another article (in German), which says that the current governing coalition (Christian Dems & Liberal Dems) tries to put the blame for the submarine deals on the previous governing coalition (Social Dems & Greens). They basically say, “We just continue doing what you did before.” And I have to admit that they are right. Former chancellor Schröder started with these submarine deals. Several politicians now demand a revision of the requirements for arms exports.

  2. annie
    June 4, 2012, 4:28 pm

    der spiegel has put out a new updated version, 4 hrs ago. 6 page article with almost the same title.

  3. OlegR
    June 4, 2012, 4:30 pm

    BDS on the German government?

  4. DICKERSON3870
    June 4, 2012, 4:36 pm

    RE: “Germany is helping Israel to develop its military nuclear capabilities…” – Speigel

    MY COMMENT: Note that Germany is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and it has knowingly assisted the nuclear weapons program (as to delivery/launching of nuclear-armed missiles) of a country that has not signed the NPT! Obviously the NPT is worthless.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    June 4, 2012, 4:44 pm

    RE: “Germany is helping Israel to develop its military nuclear capabilities…” – Speigel

    MY COMMENT: Yet another example of “Gunter the Terrible”!

    SEE: Gunter the Terrible, By Uri Avnery, The Palestine Chronicle, 4/13/12

    Stop me if I have told you this joke before:
    Somewhere in the US, a demonstration takes place. The police arrive and beat the protesters mercilessly.
    “Don’t hit me,” someone shouts, “I am an anti-communist!”
    “I couldn’t give a damn what kind of a communist you are!” a policeman answers as he raises his baton.
    The first time I told this joke was when a German group visited the Knesset and met with German-born members, including me.
    They went out of their way to praise Israel, lauding everything we had been doing, condemning every bit of criticism, however harmless it might be. It became downright embarrassing
    , since some of us in the Knesset were very critical of our government’s policy in the occupied territories.
    For me, this extreme kind of pro-Semitism is just disguised anti-Semitism. Both have a basic belief in common: that Jews – and therefore Israel – are something apart, not to be measured by the standards applied to everybody else. . .


    * I would add that Christian Zionism is also an “extreme kind of pro-Semitism” that is actually “disguised anti-Semitism”.

  6. lysias
    June 4, 2012, 4:45 pm

    The very title of the article Geheim-Operation Samson [Secret Operation Sampson] is a reference to the Samson Option.

    Richard Silverstein has a good piece on this German issue: Germany Sells Israel Nuclear-Armed Submarines. His point: Israel has no need of a second-strike capability, because no country is likely to attack Israel with nuclear weapons.

    • Sumud
      June 4, 2012, 7:53 pm

      Interesting article by Silverstein.

      He makes an excellent point in the Germany has practically given Israel the capability to perpetuate a holocaust on neighbouring arab states – and this is exactly how Germany would be criticised if it ever came to that.

      He doesn’t touch on the Samson Option however, and Martin Kreveld’s statement that Israel has all Europe’s capitals in it’s gunsights. It is possible Germany has just given Israel the capability to flatten Berlin. And Paris. And Rome. And Moscow. And…

  7. traintosiberia
    June 4, 2012, 10:49 pm

    Only a blackmail ( ? personal l sex scandal or ? economic ? dishonest role in Greek/Ireland/Spain economy or some ?Nazi connection of some higher ups or it could be just old fear of being branded antisemtic if not given the tool to destroy half of the earth ) by Israel can explain this weird German behavior.

    Does A Q Khan have access to news paper/internet to learn that charges of proliferation was no longer used to house arrest /interrogate somebody to facilitate attack on another country but proliferation is encouraged and practised for pre-emtive attack on a non nuclear country?

    So the P5 plus 1 has a member who, after providing neuclear material and support and delivery system to Israel that has bought US Congress for an US to attack on Iran and has sought authorization from its own Knesset to attack Iran ,now is asking Iran to follow ……

    Have we this arrogance and hubris mixed with nonchalance before?
    Hitler,Napoleon, Truman,Lyndon Johnson and Breznev,Pol Pot and the 30 neocons who are not banished to the destert yet!

  8. Keith
    June 4, 2012, 11:11 pm

    Forget about Israel for a minute. Does anyone else find it strange that Germany is producing nuclear weapons capable submarines?

    • Koshiro
      June 5, 2012, 3:29 am

      No. Every submarine is in theory “nuclear weapons capable”. You can fire cruise missiles from torpedo tubes, even standard 533mm ones, and you can fit nuclear warheads to cruise missiles. What you need is the proper fire control system, but that is not excessively difficult to retrofit.

      What’s special about these submarines is that they were obviously tailored to Israel’s specific needs, by fitting the larger diameter torpedo tubes needed for Israel’s less advanced cruise missiles.

      • Keith
        June 5, 2012, 11:45 am

        KOSHIRO- Do most modern submarines have this capability? “The missiles can be launched using a previously secret hydraulic ejection system.” Sounds like a specifically intended feature. I would also add that through NATO, Germany has access to nuclear weapons, as does other “non-nuclear” European states.

      • Koshiro
        June 5, 2012, 12:13 pm

        Do most modern submarines have this capability?

        Yes, actually. Basically all you need is a torpedo tube and a fire control system. The “special hydraulic launch system” serves the purpose of making the boat harder to detect while deploying the missile. That’s a nice capability to have, but not a necessary one. Incidentally, it also points to the fact that these subs are not the pure deterrent second-strike weapons they are claimed to be by apologists in the German government – because in such a role their detectability post-launch would be a rather secondary concern.

        Anyway: A missile launch capability as such isn’t anything special, nor anything sinister – well as non-sinister as an instrument of killing can be. Most western submarines nowadays have the ability to launch Harpoon or similar anti-ship missiles.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    June 4, 2012, 11:33 pm

    • LINK –

  10. HarryLaw
    June 5, 2012, 6:39 am

    Germany with no nuclear weapons sells/gives submarines with nuclear weapons capabilities to a known nuclear state thus leaving itself and the whole of the European Union open to nuclear blackmail. Martin Van Creveld Professor of military history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem has said “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome and we have the capability to take the world down with us, and I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under”. Merkel has also breached the non proliferation treaty, Iran will have taken notice and will have stiffened its resolve not to give in to western hypocrisy.

  11. Theo
    June 5, 2012, 8:42 am

    This is nothing new, we knew it for years that Germany is supplying Israel with submarines capable of carrying nuclear missiles. Only thing is new that the israelis openly admit it.
    The whole weapons deals started with Franz-Josef Strauss, who made a deal with Ben Gurion already in the 1970s and the supply of weapons did not stop since, but got more and more sophisticated, ending in a state of art submarines.
    German taxpayers paid billions so Israel can destroy Palestina, the arab armies and kill a few thousand civilians.

    If Operation Samson would ever be activated, then major cities of the west, such as New York, London, Paris and Berlin will become a heap of ashes, as according to israeli plans should that land ever come close to total destruction, they will make sure the whole world goes with them. This is a blackmail of huge proportion, forcing Europe and the USA to support Israel in any war.

    Only madmen can even think of such a monstrous deed and we can thank our own CIA for supplying Israel the necessary plutonium for the nuclear weapons and Germany for delivering the platforms to fire them off from open seas.
    It seems there is no limit to the stupidity of elected politicians!!

  12. traintosiberia
    June 5, 2012, 9:30 am

    Chronology of neuclear thefts of the “vulnerable,nascent,democratic nation” Israel from 1948-
    No other nation in the world,immidiately after independence has ever been able to start on a project of this magnitude marshalling so many labirynthine covert manipulation of other countries . This proves one thing that the establishmnet of militarly strong Isarel was a pan American-European project from the start and Israel was never the David but was the Goliath.

  13. kapok
    June 6, 2012, 7:25 pm

    Jews used to claim they would never buy a German car. Mort Sahl even joked, The reason the Germans put their VW engine in the back was to protect it in case of a crash.

  14. radkelt
    June 7, 2012, 12:41 am

    I posted this comment inappropriately previously.

    Anyone out there having nightmares about Israeli submarines armed with
    nukes roaming around? Martin Van Creveld has some thoughts on the matter.
    Given past performances in Gaza, Lebanon, is it sayonara time?

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