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Israeli Army Gives up Plan to Purchase 6th Submarine

Israeli Army Gives up Plan to Purchase 6th Submarine

Monday, 28 October, 2019 - 10:30
Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019. (Reuters/ Amir Cohen)

Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi plans to propose to the security cabinet that it drops a plan to buy a sixth submarine from German shipbuilder “ThyssenKrupp,” military sources in Tel Aviv said.

This way, the Israeli army would be saving about half a billion euros, which Kohavi wants to spend on other vital military purposes mentioned in his recent multi-year plan that shows how future wars will be like.

According to the plan, instead of buying a sixth submarine, Kohavi proposes reinforcing land and air defense and acquiring sophisticated precision ammunition.

The Israeli army has always had only two to five submarines. Today it has six, with three of them being very old and experts recommending their improvement.

It signed a contract with ThyssenKrupp to buy three submarines and relinquish the three old ones.

The Israeli navy had received one modern submarine. It will receive the second in a year and the third in 2030, which is the most modern. All are capable of launching nuclear missiles.

However, there have been suspicions on the deal to buy the three submarines.

It turns out that the army could settle for only five submarines. It can buy two new submarines and sell the three old ones.

Yet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to buy the sixth without consulting the army and even kept his decision private at the time to avoid informing former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

Police are currently investigating Netanyahu's intentions, especially after it became clear that his attorney ‎and ‎cousin David Shimron is acting as a representative of the German corporation in order to promote the deal.

Meanwhile, the army said it needs to increase its budget by claiming security threats and challenges against Israel.

The increase required is four billion shekels in each of the next 10 years.

If the submarine deal is canceled, the costs of the submarine and its annual maintenance will be saved.

If Benny Gantz will form the government, Kohavi expects him to adopt the army's request unlike Netanyahu.

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