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A German-made submarine
Image: Reuters

U-boat upgrade

June 4, 2012

The German news magazine Der Spiegel has published a report that claims submarines purchased by Israel from Germany are being armed with nuclear weapons after their delivery.


Three of the submarines in question were recently sold to Israel, with the German government picking up part of the tab. Three more are to be delivered by 2017.

Additionally, Germany is said to have known about Israel's nuclear weapons program since 1961. Israel's alleged capability to outfit the submarines with nuclear weapons was not previously known.

A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry told the AFP news agency that it was no secret that Israel had German submarines.

"As for the rest," said Yigal Palmor, "I am not in a position to talk about their capacity."

Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the submarines were delivered unarmed.

"The federal government will not speculate on subsequent arming," he told Der Spiegel.

mz/av (Reuters, AFP DPA)

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