MELBOURNE, Australia – Japan has launched the second of a brand new class of diesel-electric submarines precisely one yr to the day that the lead boat of the lithium-ion powered sequence took to the water.
The brand new submarine, which has been named the Hakugei, or White Whale, was launched at Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard within the metropolis of Kobe on Thursday afternoon Japan time. The submarine will now endure last development and sea trials earlier than commissioning into the Japan Maritime Self-Protection Power or JMSDF, which is deliberate for March 2023.
The Hakugei is the second Taigei-class submarine. This can be a 3,000-ton, diesel-electric assault submarine measuring 84 meters (275 toes) lengthy, and was beforehand generally known as the 29SS class, named after the twenty ninth yr of Emperor Akihito’s reign in Japan.
The primary boat of the category, the Taigei, was launched in October 2020 and started sea trials in July this yr. It’s anticipated to be commissioned in March 2022.
The commissioning will permit the JMSDF to proceed efforts to recapitalize its submarine fleet, with the service retaining some older boats in service because it introduced the variety of submarines in service to 22.
The choice to extend the JMSDF submarine power from 16 boats was introduced within the 2010 nationwide protection program pointers. It comes as Japan continues to solid a cautious eye on China’s army modernization and growing assertiveness within the area.
Just like the final two boats of the previous Soryu-class and the Taigei, the Hakugei might be geared up with lithium-ion batteries as an influence supply. Japan has carried out in depth analysis into the usage of lithium-ion batteries on submarines because the early 2000s, and says they require much less upkeep and are able to longer endurance at excessive speeds whereas submerged in comparison with lead-acid batteries.
It’s at present the one identified nation to have operational submarines utilizing lithium-ion batteries.
The upsized submarine power will comprise eight older Oyashio-class submarines, twelve Soryus and the 2 Taigei-class boats. Japan has already laid down yet one more Taigei-class submarine and has funding authorised for 2 extra, the most recent being $602.3 million allotted for yet one more boat within the protection ministry’s newest finances.