The Navy’s sixth submarine was originally to be named after the submarine INS Dakar, which met a tragic end in 1968.
The Israel Navy’s sixth submarine, which is to begin service in the early 2020s, will be named the INS Dragon, after a predatory deep-sea fish. The name was announced in the course of a conference devoted to the Navy’s work plan for 2019.
The name was chosen after a protracted, five-year process. The original name selected for the German-manufactured sub was Dakar – after the Israeli submarine that sank with its crew members in 1968.
However, family members of the sailors who perished on board the original INS Dakar objected to the recycled name and said they were hurt by it. The name “Dragon” – spelled “Drakon” in Hebrew – contains all of the letters in “Dakar” and is a way of paying subtle homage to the 69 sailors who perished when the sub sank.
It was also decided that the Naval Arm’s future line of submarines – for which the Dragon is a prototype – will be named the “Dakar Class” in memory of the lost sub’s crew.
The Commander of the Naval Arm, Major General Eliyahu (Eli) Sharvit, said that “The warriors of Shayetet 7 (the submarine fleet) safeguard our security, with unblemished professionalism, sophistication, dedication and constant thinking, day and night.”
Despite extensive searches over the course of 30 years, the INS Dakar’s remains were not found until 1999, when they were discovered between Cyprus and Crete. The exact cause of its sinking remains unknown.