By World Israel News Staff
Israel’s Defense Ministry announced it has reached an agreement with German manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to purchase three new advanced submarines to the tune of some $3.4 billion, some $1.2 billion dollars more than the original price, raising suspicion of more corruption involved in the deal.
“The procurement of three advanced, operational submarines joins a series of measures that we have taken in the past year in the process to equip and strengthen and IDF,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz in a statement.
Praising Germany for “its assistance in advancing the agreement and for its commitment to Israel’s security,” Gantz said the new submarines would help Israel maintain its qualitative military edge in the region, especially in the naval realm.
Thanks to a trade partnership agreement signed by Israel and Germany in 2017, the German government will foot about one third of the bill. The first of the submarines is expected to be delivered to Israel within the next nine years.
The Defense Ministry added that Germany had signed a reciprocal deal to purchase some $963 million in products and technology from Israel’s defense industries, “which will yield knowhow, open up markets overseas, professional training, jobs, and technological development for the Israeli economy.”
The deal was signed without Knesset approval or advance knowledge of the purchase being made available to the public.
Notably, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is the same manufacturer involved in the so-called “submarine affair.”
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top defense officials are accused of engaging in nefarious business practices related to the purchase of submarines from the German manufacturer, including corruption and bribery.
Last week, Gantz and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that they would vote to establish a governmental commission of inquiry over the submarine affair. However, Hebrew-language media reported that the vote was delayed due to ongoing negotiations with the German manufacturer for the purchase of the new submarines.