Amid the rapidly assembling fleets of the United States, Russia, and China, warily eyeing each other off the coast of Syria, another regional naval power that’s figuratively flying under the radar is Israel’s small but very powerful fleet.
The Jewish State conducted a missile test on the open waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, according to the Associated Press via the Las Vegas Sun on Sept. 7, 2013.
In a terse press notification issued by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) earlier this week, a single missile was test-fired over the open seas. The tight-lipped MoD gave no other details.
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However, various state-run Russian news agencies have reported that Russian radar systems detected two “ballistic objects” fired from the central Mediterranean toward the eastern part of the sea.
Not So Friendly Dolphins…
London’s Sunday Times reported in 2010 that the Israeli Navy’s Flotilla 7, comprised of three German-built Dolphin-class submarines — the INS (Israeli Naval Ship) Dolphin, the INS Tekuma and the INS Leviathan — have paid less than clandestine visits to the Gulf in the past, undoubtedly to send a message to the Iranian Mullahs who continue to call for the destruction of Israel.
The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O,” told an Israeli newspaper:
We are an underwater assault force.
We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.
Fifth Sub Delivered, Sixth on Its Way…
Long suspected of equipping their growing armada of subs with nuclear armed cruise missiles, Russia Today quoted Former German State Secretary Lothar Ruhl earlier this year admitting that he’s “always assumed that Israel would deploy nuclear weapons on the submarines.”
Dolphin-class submarines are equipped with hydraulic ejection systems that enable the underwater launch of Israeli Popeye Turbo SLCM long-range cruise missiles, believed to have nuclear warheads.
Israel’s Popeye cruise missiles are believed to have a range of up to 900 miles and carry a 450-pound payload, enough for a 100 to 200 kT variable yield warhead, the equivalent of 200,000,000 to 400,000,000 pounds of TNT.