An official ceremony to hand over to Israel a Dolphin-class submarine, which can carry nuclear weapons, was held on Thursday in the German city of Kiel.
The German-made submarine, named Tanin ("alligator" in Hebrew), is due to enter service in 2013, when all tests are completed.
The Tanin is the fourth submarine of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and one of the country’s most expensive defense contracts. Its construction costs are estimated at $500 million, with one third being subsidized by the German government.
"The Navy and the submarine fleet constitute a deterrent, protective and strategic arm for the IDF and for the State of Israel," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during the ceremony.
A fifth submarine for the IDF is currently in the final stages of construction and is due to enter service in 2014. Two months ago, Israel and Germany have signed a deal to build the sixth submarine, due to be completed by 2017.