Dolphin-class submarine
Photo: Ido Beker

Ron Lauder: Israel must expand sub fleet amid Iran threat

In New York Post op-ed, World Jewish Congress president says 'nuclear warheads atop medium-range Iranian ballistic missiles should force changes in Israeli’s strategy to survive'

The expansion of Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines would deter a nuclear Iran, World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder said in an op-ed published by the New York Post on Wednesday.


Lauder, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urged Israel to reinvent its submarine force "as a strategic deterrent against a potentially nuclear-armed Iran and its terrorist surrogates seeking to literally wipe Israel off the map."


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In the article, titled "How subs could save Israel," Lauder said that while the Jewish state has never been a potent sea power, "the reality is, warfare technology that could put Iranian nuclear warheads atop medium-range ballistic missiles should force changes in Israeli’s strategy to survive."


"Even without an atomic threat, Israel faces a dangerous new world. While Iran is saber-rattling in the Straits of Hormuz, it has the means to launch an overwhelming barrage of conventionally armed ballistic missiles across Israel. Within the opening minutes of a surprise attack, Iran could destroy military bases, airfields and command centers. The Israelis are good but they aren’t invincible," wrote the Jewish-American businessman.


"That’s why Israel needs to use the Mediterranean and Indian oceans as a bastion for its diesel-powered submarines. It is reported that the Israeli Navy operates three of these modern, ultraquiet, effectively fresh-air-independent Dolphin-class submarines. Two more subs have been ordered and should be at the dock before the end of this year.


According to the WJC president, Israel has the means of firing what defense analysts say are nuclear capable Harpoon cruise missiles from within retrofitted torpedo tubes, "its secret warheads giving Iranian war planners a lot to think about when plotting the destruction of what they call 'The Zionist entity.'


"While a Harpoon’s range is about 200 miles, published intelligence reports say Israel staged an Indian Ocean test in which it fired a mock warhead nearly 1,000 miles from its submarine — incidentally, the approximate distance between Tel Aviv and Tehran," Lauder added.


"To be credible, Israel will need more than a five-boat fleet of subs. At least two submarines must be at sea at any given time, one in the Indian Ocean, to ensure a genuine deterrent, while others are undergoing maintenance, retrofitting and refueling," he claimed.


"Ironically, having such a fleet would recreate the kind of deterrence we saw during the Cold War, which kept enemies from attacking each other for some 40 years."



פרסום ראשון: 01.04.12, 14:56
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