[Freemanlist2] Secret Cooperation Israel Deploys Nuclear Weapons on German-Built Submarines

Freeman Center For Strategic Studies bernards at sbcglobal.net
Mon Jun 4 06:50:22 CDT 2012


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Secret Cooperation Israel Deploys Nuclear Weapons on German-Built Submarines

SPIEGEL 06/03/2012

A German shipyard has already built three submarines for Israel, and three 
more are planned. Now SPIEGEL has learned that Israel is arming the 
submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The German government has 
known about Israel's nuclear weapons program for decades, despite its 
official denials.

Germany is helping Israel to develop its military nuclear capabilities, 
SPIEGEL has learned. According to extensive research carried out by the 
magazine, Israel is equipping submarines that were built in the northern 
German city of Kiel and largely paid for by the German government with 
nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The missiles can be launched using a 
previously secret hydraulic ejection system. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud 
Barak told SPIEGEL that Germans should be "proud" that they have secured the 
existence of the state of Israel "for many years."

In the past, the German government has always stuck to the position that it 
is unaware of nuclear weapons being deployed on the vessels. Now, however, 
former high-ranking officials from the German Defense Ministry, including 
former State Secretary Lothar Rühl and former chief of the planning staff 
Hans Rühle, have told SPIEGEL that they had always assumed that Israel would 
deploy nuclear weapons on the submarines. Rühl had even discussed the issue 
with the military in Tel Aviv.

Israel has a policy of not commenting officially on its nuclear weapons 
program. Documents from the archives of the German Foreign Ministry make it 
clear, however, that the German government has known about the program since 
1961. The last discussion for which there is evidence took place in 1977, 
when then-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt spoke to then-Israeli Foreign Minister 
Moshe Dayan about the issue.

The submarines are built by the German shipyard HDW in Kiel. Three 
submarines have already been delivered to Israel, and three more will be 
delivered by 2017. In addition, Israel is considering ordering its seventh, 
eighth and ninth submarines from Germany.

The German government recently signed the contract for the delivery of the 
sixth vessel. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, Chancellor 
Angela Merkel made substantial concessions to the Israelis. Not only is 
Berlin financing one-third of the cost of the submarine, around EUR135 
million ($168 million), but it is also allowing Israel to defer its payment 
until 2015.

Merkel had tied the delivery of the sixth submarine to a number of 
conditions, including a demand that Israel stop its expansionist settlement 
policy and allow the completion of a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza 
Strip, which is partially financed with German money. So far, Israeli Prime 
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met none of the terms.

Check back on SPIEGEL International on Monday for the full English-language 
version of SPIEGEL's cover story on Germany's cooperation with Israel over 
its submarine program.


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