U.S.-Taiwan Deal Could Double Israel's Submarine Fleet

(Ha'aretz) Amnon Barzilai - Israel has an opportunity to benefit from a submarine deal between Taiwan and the U.S. When Taiwan turned to Europe to obtain eight advanced conventional submarines, the Europeans turned them down, reluctant to upset Beijing. President Bush then agreed to have them built in the U.S., but the Americans have been building only nuclear subs for the last 50 years. Israel contacted Northrop Grumman, one of the companies vying for the deal, pointing out its recent experience and know-how in planning the Dolphin submarines that were constructed in Germany's HDW dockyard in the 1990s with German aid funds from the Gulf War. So Northrop Grumman decided to include a "Dolphin-design submarine" among the options in its proposal to Taiwan. Whichever company wins the contract, the American decision to establish a submarine assembly line in the U.S. will enable the production of submarines for the Israeli Navy - that could be funded out of American defense aid packages to Israel. Egypt is also interested in obtaining American submarines, financed by U.S. aid.

2002-07-29 00:00:00

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