New IDF submarine inaugurated

January 13, 2016 Agencies
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President Reuven Rivlin has attended the inauguration of the new IDF Dolphin-class submarine, the INS Rahav docked at the naval base in Haifa.

The arrival of the submarine was met with a special naval ceremony attended by the President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister, IDF Chief-of-Staff, and Navy chiefs, who greeted the submarine crew on the vessel.

President Rovlin greets a naval officer watched by Prime Minister Netanyahu Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO

President Rivlin greets a naval officer watched by Prime Minister Netanyahu Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO

At the beginning of his address, the President spoke of his meeting with the crew during his visit to Germany in April 2015, where the vessel was being prepared for its arrival in Israel. He said, “Last Spring, I came to see you in the German city of Kiel, where you were preparing the INS Rahav for its journey to Israel. For me, this was a special opportunity to meet with you, and to come to know you first-hand, the crew and commanders of the submarine. I saw the strength of your commitment, of your responsibility, of your professionalism. Your determination and camaraderie. You told me that the concept of ‘me’ does not exist on a submarine, but that rather everything is about ‘us’. I saw how you worked in coordination, as one. And now, I am delighted to say to you, welcome back to Israel.”

The President stressed the enormous responsibility that rested on the crew in watching over the safety of the citizens of Israel. “The ‘conquest of the seas’ has always been an essential task for the Zionist movement and later became an economic, strategic, and political necessity for a small country such as the State of Israel.” The President reiterated, “In the coming decades, the INS Rahav will take an active part in defending the State of Israel and its territorial waters, operating deeper, further, and for longer from the very depths – with a watchful eye, enabling our ability to act in the naval arena. Readiness for war alone cannot secure victory, it cannot alone overcome the enemy nor bring us safety, it is the professional crew which gives us our true qualitative advantage.”

The President concluded by thanking the families of the submarine’s crew, who were also attending the ceremony, “On my own behalf and on behalf of all the Israeli people, I want to thank you and your families, for your dedication and care. Crew of the INS Rahav, the heavy responsibility rests upon your shoulders.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added: “I would like to thank the German government, Chancellor Merkel and President Gauck, for your great contribution to building up our naval strength by supplying this submarine and other important means that we are discussing. I would also like to express my deepest appreciation for the mutually beneficial security relationship between Israel and Germany, about which I have spoken at length with Chancellor Merkel, Foreign Minister Steinmeier and other German government officials.

This steel submarine sailed thousands of kilometers from the Kiel shipyards in northern Germany to Haifa port. It will be fitted with advanced, blue-and-white measures which will aid us in defense and offense, as a closed naval fist.

Above all, our submarine fleet will act as a deterrent to our enemies who want to destroy us. They will not achieve their aim. They need to know that Israel is capable of striking in very great strength at all those who would harm it. And the citizens of Israel need to know that Israel is a very strong country. We are doing – and we will do – our utmost to defend you, anywhere: In the cybernetic world, where we are building a cyber network, in the air and above the air – in space, on the ground and underground – against the tunnel threat, on the sea and under the sea – with submarines.

Israel’s naval arm will continue to extend its reach, and add striking power, to distant and global quarters. Navy personnel, including the submarine crews, carry out many daring operations far from home port and – to a similar degree – far from view.

Our naval arm, including the submarines, is an essential defensive force in the stormy reality of the Middle East. Rogue waves continue to inundate the region and dangerous whirlpools encompass it on every side.

We identify the dangers in time and we are well prepared to repel them. The task of responsible leadership is not to hide its head in the sand. We must have a clear view of what is happening around us. Our goals are clear: Maintain our security, ensure our sovereignty and advance the development and prosperity of our country.”



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