Two submarines of this advanced type have been delivered: the “Tanin” in 2014 and the “Rahav” in 2016.
Some of the systems of the Dolphin II-class submarines are installed in the German shipyard, but the highly classified ones will be installed in Israel after delivery.
The Dolphin II-class submarines built by the German company thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) are equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP).
The AIP enables the submarines total freedom from external air, meaning that they can stay submerged for a longer time.
According to foreign media, at least one Israeli submarine is on station in the Gulf.
The new submarines are 12 meters longer and have 500 tons more displacement than the Dolphin I submarines. The submarines’ sonar and defense systems are advanced and improved relative to their predecessors.
According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, the Dolphin II subs can stay underwater for up to eighteen days. The Dolphin II weighs approximately 20 percent more than the older type and has dedicated diver-lockout chambers. The new class submarines are 226 feet long and can reach a speed of 25 Kts while submerged. They are capable of operating at a depth of 1150 feet. The crew is 35, and another 15 “experts” can be on board.
The new submarines have six 21″ torpedo tubes and four 26″ torpedo tubes.
The new submarines are being equipped with a very advanced sonar system developed by DSIT, a subsidiary of Rafael.
The technical details of this sonar are classified, but sources said that it will be capable of detecting threats “of types and in ranges” that were until now unachievable.
Last year, Israel signed a contract for three additional advanced submarines to be built in Germany.