Israel has five Dolphin class submarines. The diesel-electric submarines were developed and constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW), Germany for the Israeli Navy. The first boats of the class were based on the export-only German 209-class submarines, but were modified and enlarged. The Dolphin 1 sub-class is slightly larger than the German Navy Type 212 in length and displacement. The three newer air-independent propulsion (AIP) equipped boats are similar to the Type 212 vessels in underwater endurance, are 12 metres (39 ft) longer, nearly 500 tonnes heavier in submerged displacement and have a larger crew than either the Type 212 or the Type 214.
In 2011, Israel ordered a sixth Dolphin-class submarine.
Dolphin class submarine
INS Dolphin (1999)
INS Livyathan (Whale, 1999)
INS Tekumah (Revival, 2000)
AIP Dolphin 2 class:
INS Tannin (Crocodile, delivered in 2012)
INS Rahav (Demon, delivered in 2014)
INS Dakar (Grouper, ordered 21 March 2012, expected operational date 2019)
The Dolphin 2-class are the largest submarines to have been built in Germany since World War II. The Dolphin class boats are the most expensive single vehicles in the Israel Defense Forces. The Dolphin-class replaced the aging Gal-class submarines, which had served in the Israeli navy since the late 1970s. Each Dolphin-class submarine is capable of carrying a combined total of up to 16 torpedoes and SLCMs.
The cruise missiles have a range of at least 1,500 km (930 mi) and are widely believed to be equipped with a 200-kilogram (440 lb) nuclear warhead containing up to 6 kilograms (13 lb) of plutonium.
Each submarine is fitted with 6 × 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes, and 4 × 650 mm (26 in) torpedo tubes. The very large 650 mm tubes can be used for laying mines, larger submarine-launched cruise missiles, or swimmer delivery vehicles, and with liners the tubes could be used for standard torpedoes and submarine-launched missiles. According to the German Defense Ministry the 650 mm tubes are to have a liner installed for firing 533 mm UGM-84 Harpoon missiles although the Dolphin class already has six tubes of the 533 mm size.