Kobe, Oct. 14 (Jiji Press)–A launch ceremony was held Wednesday for a new submarine of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.’s <7011> shipyard in the western Japan city of Kobe.
It is the first of the Taigei-class submarines with standard displacements of 3,000 tons, the largest ever for MSDF submarines. It is scheduled to go into service in March 2022.
Taigei means big whale in Japanese. MSDF submarines are traditionally named after marine phenomena, aquatic creatures or auspicious animals. Besides Taigei, the MSDF has Oyashio- and Soryu-class submarines. Oyashio is the name of an ocean current flowing near Japan. Soryu means blue dragon.
Measuring 84 meters in length and some 9 meters in width, the new submarine will accommodate a crew of up to some 70. Construction costs totaled some 80 billion yen.
It is equipped with lithium-ion batteries, the same feature as that for the Oryu and Toryu submarines, which were commissioned in March 2020 and will go into service next year, respectively. The Taigei-class submarine can cruise underwater for long periods and has an improved sonar. The Oryu and the Toryu are Soryu-class submarines.