First Look At Israeli Navy Dakar Class Submarine

Israel-Dakar-Class-Submarine - Covert Shores

First Look At Israeli Navy Dakar Class Submarine

Flag Confirmation that Israel has signed for German shipbuilder TKMS to build 3 Dakar class submarines provides our first look at the new design. An official graphic released by TKMS shows that the submarine will be significantly different from the current Dolphin-II class.

The most visible difference is that the sail is much longer. Larger than almost any other submarine design out there, relative to the rest of the boat. The natural interpretation is that it will carry ballistic missiles in the sail.

This is similar to the North Korean Sinpo-C (ROMEO-Mod) class, although the similarities end there. Historically the Soviet HOTEL and GOLF class submarines had a similar configuration.

Based on TKMS imae with notes added. CLICK for high-resolution image:

This implies that the missiles to be carried are much longer than the pressure hull diameter plus casing (deck). So we can expect them to be around 9-10 meters long. This places them in a similar league to regular SLBMs, although they may be smaller diameter. The missiles are unknown but are, at this stage, most like nuclear capable.

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Alternative interpretations include some form of hangar for minisubs and uncrewed underwater vehicles. Or smaller missiles or uncrewed air vehicles contained entirely in the sail. But neither is as convincing as the missile larger hypothesis.

There are several other insights that than be drawn from the official graphic. The hull does appear to be based on the Dolphin-II class. The under-casing is larger however. This suggests that it is still required for hydrogen tanks for the AIP (Air Independent Power). Which in turn means that the AIP will not feature a reformer to create hydrogen.

We can speculate that the lower casing may also contain some tanks related to the missile fit. And a flank array sonar which is not visible in the official image.

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Other differences include larger X-form rudders. And the elimination of the smaller horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The screw appears generally similar but is not fitted wit a fixed ring. This configuration is reminiscent of the TKMS Type-216 and 218 designs.

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