The first of three new Dolphin II class submarines built by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel for the Israeli Navy has arrived in Haifa. Much of the 7,500km voyage to her new home was spent underwater, aided by an air-independent propulsion system and an extra fuel tank that allows her to stay submerged for extended periods.

Named INS Tanin after a biblical sea creature, also translated as ‘crocodile’, the Type 800 vessels, based on the German Type 212, are the largest submarines to be built in Germany since the end of World War II. Displacing 2,300 tonnes submerged, they are around 25 per cent larger than earlier Dolphin class vessels.

Tanin will have Israeli systems installed before entering operational service. The exact armament carried by Israeli submarines is a closely-guarded secret, but they are reported to have a nuclear-strike capability. A fifth submarine, INS Rahav, is expected to arrive at Haifa Port early next year followed by an as-yet-unnamed sixth submarine in 2019.


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