Name of newest Israeli submarine changed amid criticism

Image: Israeli Defense Forces file photo
Image: Israeli Defense Forces file photo

The Israeli Navy confirmed on Wednesday, January 9, that the country’s newest submarine will be named INS Drakon (“Dragon”) after the original name that was chosen unexpectedly drew criticism.

The name Dakar was originally proposed in honour of a similarly named submarine that Israel had purchased from the United Kingdom along with two other vessels in 1965.

The first INS Dakar was lost at sea with its entire crew of 69 on January 24, 1968, barely two months after it was commissioned into the Israeli Navy. The cause of the submarine’s sinking remains unknown to this day.

The families of the crew of the first Dakar had protested against the name being used for the country’s new Dolphin-class submarine, stating that the “recycling” of the name would only disrespect the memory of the fallen sailors.

The navy has agreed to respect the families’ wishes and the name Drakon was consequently chosen as a compromise. This was partly because the words “Drakon” and “Dakar” are written in Hebrew using the same letters.

INS Drakon is currently under construction in Germany and is scheduled for delivery in 2020.

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