Israeli Sub has accident : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Dolphin sub suffers mishap By Arieh O'Sullivan

TEL AVIV (August 10) - One of the navy's new Dolphin-class submarines recently suffered a malfunction which caused it to go into an uncontrolled dive, forcing the captain to operate the emergency flotation apparatus. The YNET Internet news site broke the story yesterday, saying that the officers aboard the $350 million submarine were reprimanded.

The IDF Spokesman confirmed the report, but said it had some inaccuracies. "At no time was the submarine in any danger of sinking," he said.

According to the report, one of the navy's three Dolphin subs was on a training exercise a few weeks ago. While starting a dive from the relatively shallow depth of 15 meters, a series of mishaps allowed seawater to apparently short-circuit one of the systems and tons of water flooded into the diving tanks. The sub, the most expensive piece of equipment in the IDF's arsenal, started a rapid and uncontrolled descent. After it dropped "a few dozen meters," the captain decided to activate the emergency button to "blow the tanks," YNET said. This rare procedure quickly brought the submarine to the surface.

OC Navy Adm. Yedidya Ya'ari appointed a commission of inquiry which found serious faults in the behavior of the submarine's officers. This report caused a storm of criticism in some naval circles, YNET report.

The IDF Spokesman said the navy does not release details of submarine operations. "The event did occur," he said. "But details in the report are not accurate. The captain and his crew took control of the event and at no time was the submarine in any danger of sinking."

Since July 1999, the navy has received three Dolphin submarines, built and mostly financed by Germany. The submarines are said to be the most advanced diesel-powered submarines in the world and have greatly boosted the navy's strategic depth. The Dolphins' maximum speed is 20 knots. Its maximum diving depth is less than 200 meters. It has a crew of 35 plus room for 10 passengers. The Dolphin has a range of 4,500 kilometers. It is designed to operate independently and because, according to Jane's Defense Weekly, it has the capability to launch cruise missiles with nuclear warheads, it could serve as a second-strike vehicle.

-- Rich Marsh (, August 21, 2001

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