Norway has told a German shipbuilding firm that it will no longer be able to test Israel-bound submarines in its waters. Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) has been asked to find somewhere else to carry out its checks as Norway continues its ban on security exports to Israel.
Norway began imposing the sanctions due to the Israeli Navy’s enforced blockade of Gaza. In a survey conducted by AFP just two days after the violent raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in February, a third of Norwegians also said they wanted to boycott Israeli products.
In 2006, an agreement was signed to the effect that the Israeli Navy would receive one HDW Dolphin Submarine in 2011 and another in 2012. HDW, which is based in Kiel, Germany, has been testing its new vessels at a Norwegian submarine base.
The Dolphin models were first built in Germany in the late 1990s and have been used by Israel for the past 10 years. The contraptions can fire Harpoon missiles and torpedoes and have intelligence and surveillance gathering capabilities.
According to reports in the international media, the German-made machines can sink enemy vessels with strategic cruise missiles that have a range of 1,500km. It is also believed that the submarines can be armed with nuclear warheads.