Israel to sign deal for sixth German sub

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in Germany to sign a deal for a sixth Dolphin class submarine that would give the Jewish state the most powerful sub fleet in the Middle East.

The 1,925-ton Dolphins are Israel’s most expensive and advanced weapons platforms, and its most strategic, particularly in the context of a conflict with Iran.

All the Dolphins are reportedly capable of launching Israeli-developed, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 950 miles through 650mm diameter torpedo tubes, carrying 200-kiloton tactical warheads.

That gives Israel an extended strategic reach, particularly if the missiles are launched from the Arabian Sea off Iran’s southern coast.

It also gives the Jewish state, militarily the most powerful in the Middle East, the option of a pre-emptive first-strike attack by land, sea or air.

With six Dolphins, the Israeli navy will be able to maintain one, possibly two, of the boats deployed off Iran at all times.

Full article: Israel to sign deal for sixth German sub (Space War)

Is Israel preparing to attack Iran?

Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June — before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon — and only the United States could then stop them militarily.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to leave the fate of Israel dependent on American action, which would be triggered by intelligence that Iran is building a bomb, which it hasn’t done yet.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak may have signaled the prospect of an Israeli attack soon when he asked last month to postpone a planned U.S.-Israel military exercise that would culminate in a live-fire phase in May. Barak apologized that Israel couldn’t devote the resources to the annual exercise this spring.

Full article: Is Israel preparing to attack Iran? (Washington Post)