Submarines: June 20, 2002

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Israel's project to equip it's new Dolphin class submarines with nuclear cruise missiles has apparently been completed. Last year, Israel fitted their 135 kilometer range Harpoon missiles with nuclear warheads. These missiles are fired from the subs torpedo tubes. The 1,925 ton Dolphins can carry 16 torpedoes or missiles and have ten forward torpedo tubes (four of them the larger 650mm -26 inch- size). The Dolphins are considered the most modern non-nuclear subs in the world and cost $320 million each. The Israeli cruise missile is reported to have a range of from 350 to 1,500 kilometers (the Israelis aren't saying much on the subject.) The objective of deploying nukes on subs is to further enhance deterrence to any nation launching a nuclear strike against Israel. If one of the Dolphins are always at sea, even a first strike against Israel would not prevent a nuclear strike by submarine launched nukes. Israel is reported to be trying to set up a base in the Red Sea, because the two most likely nuclear attackers are Iraq and Iran.

 


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