German sub deal sealed

(JTA) — Germany authorized the subsidized sale of a sixth naval submarine to Israel.

Berlin officials said Wednesday that the Merkel government had decided to defray approximately a third of the cost of a new Dolphin submarine for Israel, clearing the way for the sale.

Israel has three of the Dolphins, which are worth about $500 million each, with another two on order and awaiting delivery by 2013.

There was no immediate word on when the sixth submarine might arrive at Haifa naval base. Israel’s defense budget has been threatened with cuts by the Foreign Ministry, and the Navy usually fits new vessels extensively with locally made combat systems.

Israel’s Dolphins are widely assumed to carry nuclear cruise missiles, a capability that Jerusalem neither denies nor confirms.

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