Gal class submarine
The Type 540 Gal Class submarine is a slightly modified variant of the German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft is a German shipbuilding company, headquartered in Kiel. In 2009 it was the largest shipyard in Germany and has more than 2,400 employees. It has been part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems owned by ThyssenKrupp, since 2005...

 Type 206
Type 206 submarine
The Type 206 is a class of diesel-electric submarines developed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft . Its design is based on the preceding Type 205 submarine class. These small and agile submarines were built during the Cold War to operate in the shallow Baltic Sea and attack Warsaw Pact shipping if...

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 class (which includes the distinctive dome, or bulge, in the front of the boat), modified for Israeli requirements. The Gal class submarines were built to Israeli specifications as the Vickers shipyards
Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd
In 1994 VSEL was subject to two takeover proposals, one from GEC and another from British Aerospace . VSEL was willing to participate in a merger with a larger company to reduce its exposure to cycles in warship production, particularly following the "Options for Change" defence review after the...

 Type 540 at Barrow in Furness in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 rather than Germany for political reasons. "Gal" (גל - Hebrew for "wave") was the name of the son of Abraham (Ivan) Dror, 3rd commander of the squadron and head of the project.

The Gal class of submarines were the first Israeli Navy submarines built to Israeli Navy specifications. Previous generations of submarines employed by the navy were refurbished and upgraded boats whose hull designs dated back to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


Since entering service in the late-1970s, these small but agile and sophisticated submarines were continuously upgraded with newer systems to maintain their technological edge. In the late 1990s, the Gal submarines were replaced with the new, much larger Dolphin class submarine
Dolphin class submarine
The Type 800 Dolphin class is a diesel-electric submarine developed and constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG , Germany for the Israeli Navy. It is based on the export-only German 209 class submarines, but modified and reduced and is thus not seen as a member of the 209 family...

s. The Gal boats were decommissioned in the early 2000s. One was scrapped and two were sent to HDW in Germany in hopes of finding them a foreign buyer. When none was found, in October 2007 "Gal" was shipped back to Haifa, Israel and is now on display in the Israeli Naval Museum. Some changes were made in the submarine to make it accessible to visitors, such as an entrance cut into her side. Part of these changes were made with the financial help of the German Federal government.


The first ship commissioned was Gal in December 1976. It was damaged by grounding on her delivery voyage but was repaired. "Gal" is now on display at the Israeli Naval museum in Haifa.

The next 2 Gal class submarines were named after two sea monster
Sea monster
Sea monsters are sea-dwelling mythical or legendary creatures, often believed to be of immense size.Marine monsters can take many forms, including sea dragons, sea serpents, or multi-armed beasts. They can be slimy or scaly and are often pictured threatening ships or spouting jets of water...

s mentioned in Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...


"Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days, In the generation of old! Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab (Rahav), and wounded the dragon? (in Hebrew, Tanin
Tannin (demon)
In Jewish folklore Tannin is the name of an aquatic demon. Sometimes he is compared with Rahab, another sea monster who is especially associated with the Red Sea. Some scholars associated Tannin with Tiamat, as it happened with Rahab...

  • Tanin - commissioned in June 1977
  • Rahav - commissioned in 18 December 1977
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