Germany: ThyssenKrupp is building submarines with specific capability to launch nuclear missiles for Israel.

Company profile

Company profile

ThyssenKrupp, based in Germany, has five key business areas: Components Technology, Elevator Technology, Industrial Solutions, Materials Services and Steel Europe.

In the financial year ending 30 September 2013, ThyssenKrupp generated revenues of € 38.6 billion, resulting in an operating loss of € 696 million and a net loss of € 1.4 billion.1

Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons

ThyssenKrupp’s division ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) is building the Dolphin submarines for the Israeli navy. In total six submarines will be delivered by 2017. These submarines will be constructed at Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel, part of TKMS since 2005. Atlas Elektronic, co-owned by Thyssen Krupp (60%) and Airbus (40%), supplies the combat and guidance systems for the submarines.2 The fifth submarine was inaugurated in 2013.3

The submarines are the result of two decades of strategic cooperative programme between Israel and Germany and are partly paid for by the German government. Construction is taking place in Germany, according to Israeli design specifications, hosting Israeli-developed command, control and combat systems including, according to various media reports, land-attack and cruise missiles capable of carrying tactical nuclear warheads.4

The German government insists it does not know anything about the nuclear-capability of the submarines. However, former top German officials have confirmed that the boats were constructed for the purpose of a nuclear capability from the outset. The use of Israeli Popeye Turbo missiles as nuclear carrier missiles is deemed possible from the additional four 650mm torpedo tubes of the Dolphins, as HDW equipped the Israeli submarines with a newly developed hydraulic ejection system instead of a compressed air ejection system. This is strong enough to catapult the Popeye Turbo carrying a nuclear warhead.5


The following financial institutions have made approximately 20411 million USD available to ThyssenKrupp since January 2011.

  • Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung
  • ANZ
  • Bank of America
  • BayernLB
  • BlackRock
  • BNP Paribas
  • Cevian Capital
  • Citigroup
  • Commerzbank
  • Crédit Agricole
  • Crédit Mutuel
  • Danske Bank
  • Deutsche Bank

  • DZ Bank
  • Franklin Resources
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Grupo BBVA
  • Grupo Santander
  • Helaba
  • HSBC
  • HSH Nordbank
  • Intesa Sanpaolo
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • KfW
  • LBBW
  • MainFirst Holding

  • Manning & Napier
  • Mediobanca Banca di Credito Finanziario
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Norddeutsche Landesbank
  • Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken
  • Société Générale
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Financial
  • UniCredit
  • Vanguard
  • VP Bank Group

Contact Information

Website: Twitter: Facebook: @thyssenkrupp_en


  1. ThyssenKrupp, “Annual Report 2012/2013”, ThyssenKrupp, November 2013. 

  2. Defense Industry Daily, “Germany Sells Israel More Dolphin Subs”, Defense Industry Daily, 1 May 2013 (;
    Steinmetz, D., “German-Israeli Armaments Cooperation”, Website Berlin Information Center for Transatlantic Security (BITS), November 2002 ( 

  3. RT News, “Israel gets fift ‘nuclear-capable’ sub”, Website RT News, 30 April 2013 ( 

  4. International DefenseNews, “Israel inaugurates 5th Dolphin-class sub”, Website International DefenseNews, 29 April 2013 (;
    ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, “Referenzen bis 2010”, Website ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (, viewed May 2014. 

  5. Spiegel,” Operation Samson: Israel’s Deployment of Nuclear Missiles on Subs from Germany”, Website Spiegel Online International, 4 June 2012 (;
    Spiegel,” The World from Berlin: ‘Helping Israel Defend Itself Is Germany’s Duty’”, Website Spiegel Online International, 5 June 2012 (;
    Jerusalem Post, “’Germany to finalize sale of Dolphin submarine to Israel’, Website Jerusalem Post, 18 July 2011 ( 


In some nuclear-armed states – in particular the United States, the United Kingdom and France – private companies are hired by governments to carry out work on maintaining and modernising nuclear arsenals. This report looks at companies that are providing the necessary components to develop, test, maintain and modernise nuclear weapons.The contracts these companies have with nuclear armed countries are for materials and services to keep nuclear weapons in their arsenals. The companies described are substantially involved in the nuclear weapons programmes of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, or India and are themselves based in France, India, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In other nuclear-armed countries –Russia, China, Pakistan and North Korea – the maintenance and modernization of nuclear forces is carried out primarily or exclusively by government agencies.


The nuclear weapon producers identified were selected on the basis of a predetermined set of criteria.
– Information on investments is publicly available.
– The company is directly involved in the development, testing, production, maintenance or trade of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services.
– The company’s involvement is related to warheads, or to delivery systems such as missiles, that are specifically developed for nuclear tasks. This includes technology that is designed for ‘dual use’ (military and civilian) but excludes technology that is not designed for, but can be used in nuclear warfare. It does not include delivery platforms such as bombers and submarines.

State owned or controlled nuclear industries are outside the scope of this research, as are companies not publicly listed. Our research uncovered a number of Universities involved in nuclear weapons programmes, but these are also outside the scope of the report.

The list of nuclear weapon producers investigated was compiled through a wide variety of sources, including financial institution exclusion lists, civil society reports, media reports, etc. Additional details on the contracts and components can be found in the Annex. We welcome information at any time about possible nuclear weapons producing companies to investigate.