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Germany supplying Israel’s “floating nuclear arsenal”

Rising To The Surface: Germany?s Hushed Shipments Of Nuclear-Capable Submarines To Israel ANALYSIS A new report is raising important questions about Germany’s commitment to Israel’s defense capabilities.International Business Times, BY Jacey Fortin | June 06 2012

German magazine Der Spiegel published an investigative article in and online on Monday, arguing that German officials were aware that the submarines they have supplied to Israel over the past several years are capable of launching nuclear warheads.

Research Spiegel has conducted in Germany, Israel and the United States, among current and past government ministers, military officials, defense engineers and intelligence agents, no longer leaves any room for doubt: With the help of German maritime technology, Israel has managed to create for itself a floating nuclear weapon arsenal: submarines equipped with nuclear capability, said the article.
Officially, Israel does not admit to having nuclear weapons in the first place. Also officially, the German government denies any knowledge of Israel’s nuclear capabilities or intentions.

But Israel’s status as a nuclear-armed state has been widely assumed for years;according to some estimates,, it could have an arsenal of about 200 nuclear warheads. It is understood to be the first — and still the only — country in the Middle East to have such weapons, and its official statement for decades has been that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region,  according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Israel is not a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Meanwhile, Germany has upheld a strong commitment to the state of Israel. Following the Holocaust and the end of World War II, Spiegel reports that Germany’s support for Israeli defense was immediately implemented and largely unquestioned: Ever since the era of Konrad Adenauer, the country’s first post-war leader, German chancellors have pushed through various military deals with Israel without parliamentary approval.

Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel maintains that Israel’s security is Germany’s raison d’é tat — an inherent national interest.

It was in 1991 that the German government reached a deal to supply the first two so-called Dolphin submarines to Israel. This agreement followed an Iraqi attack — Saddam Hussein had ordered the firing of Scud missiles into Haifa and Tel Aviv shortly after the first Gulf War began.

From the beginning, then, Germany’s supply of submarines to Israel was tied to the threat of aggression from Middle Eastern countries.
What’s special about the Dolphin submarines is that they have especially wide tubes for launching projectiles. Germany has explained that these are ideal for combat swimmers carrying equipment, but Spiegel reports that they are also suitable for nuclear-tipped missiles.

Since 1991, Israel and Germany have made deals for the construction and delivery of six Dolphin submarines. Three have already been delivered, and three more are scheduled for coming years. Agreements for even more submarines are likely in the works……

To many analysts, none of this news is especially surprising. But the Spiegel report is significant because it presents solid evidence not only that the submarines are equipped for nuclear use but that German officials have always known about it.


November 9, 2012 - Posted by | Israel, weapons and war

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