Israel interested in two German war ships | Europe | News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 23.10.2009

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Israel interested in two German war ships

Media reports suggest that Israel is considering the purchase of two sophisticated German warships. However, it is unclear who will foot the bill for the multi-million-euro deal.

German war ship

Israel wants to establish a sea-based missile defense system.

Israel would like the two warships, worth an estimated 400-500 million euros ($600-750 million), free of charge, the German daily Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung said on Friday, citing government sources.

The ships might be supplied by Hamburg's Blohm + Voss shipyard who confirmed an Israeli enquiry to German media without divulging any further details on the potential deal. The ships' weapons would be supplied by the United States.

The two state of the art corvettes, which are hard to detect by radar, are said to be larger than Israel's current flagship Hanit.

The Israeli navy wants to install a "Barak 8" missile defence system on the two vessels along with sophisticated radar so as "to be prepared for potential wars", according to the Israeli daily newspaper Ma'ariv.

The move would allow Israel to shift a part of its missile defense system to the sea, rendering it less vulnerable to potential rocket attacks.

Germany has previously helped equip the Israeli navy, delivering three submarines in the years 1999-2000.

Two further submarines are currently under construction in Kiel, costing at least 500 million euros apiece. Germany is to foot a third of that bill.

Editor: Andreas Illmer

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