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Gal class submarine: Wikis


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INS Gal in the Naval Museum, Haifa
Class overview
Builders: Vickers, Barrow
Operators:  Israeli Navy
Planned: 3
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
Preserved: 1
General characteristics
Displacement: 420 tonnes (Surfaced)
600 tonnes (Submerged)
Length: 45 m
Beam: 4.7 m
Draught: 3.7 m
Propulsion: 1 shaft 2 × MTU diesels 1200 hp & & AEG Generators
1 × electric motor 1800 hp
Speed: 11 Knots Surfaced
17 knots Submerged
Complement: 32
Sensors and
processing systems:
radar Plessey
Sonar Plessey,
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
Armament: 8× 533mm Tubes bow
Sub-Harpoon Missiles, NT 37E torpedoes
SAM launcher (removed)

The Type 540 Gal Class submarine of the Israeli Navy is a slightly modified variant of the German HDW Type 206 submarine 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 Type 540 at Barrow in Furness in the UK 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 submarines in the Israeli Navy that were built to the specific requirements of the Israeli Navy from the ground up. Previous generations of submarines employed by the navy were refurbished and upgraded boats whose hull designs dated back to the era before and during World War II.

Since going into service in the late-1970s, these small but agile and sophisticated submarines were continuously upgraded with newer systems to maintain their technological edge. However, in the late 1990s, the Gal submarines were replaced with the new Dolphin class submarine. In the early 2000s the Gal boats were decommissioned. One was scrapped and two were sent to HDW in Germany in hopes of finding them a foreign buyer. In 2007 "Gal" was shipped back to Haifa, Israel and is now part of the permanent exhibition in the Israeli Naval Museum.

On October 11, 2007, one of the two remaining Gal class submarines was transported back to the Naval Museum in Haifa. It was opened to the public within a few days. Some changes were made in the submarine to make it accessible to the visitors like opening her side to make an entrance. 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 a part of the Israeli Naval museum and can be visited in Haifa, Israel

The next 2 Gal class submarines were named after two ancient sea monsters mentioned in Isaiah 51:9:

"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)"

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




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