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Japan takes in first advanced ‘great whale’ submarine

  • March 14, 2022
  • , Nikkei Asia , 4:22 a.m.
  • English Press

NAOKI HORI, Nikkei staff writer


KOBE, Japan — The Japanese Ministry of Defense has officially received the first new Taigei-class submarine at a Kobe shipyard, completing the 22-sub fleet sought by the government.


Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Taigei is the Self-Defense Forces’ most advanced submarine. Improved sonar helps it detect enemy assets better, for example, even as the sub itself runs more quietly to be less detectable.


The 80 billion yen ($692 million) vessel is 84 meters long and has a displacement of 3,000 tons. It can hold a crew of around 70, with separate space available for female members. Lithium-ion battery technology lets the sub run for long periods on a single charge.


The Taigei, whose name means “great whale,” is the 29th submarine to be built at Mitsubishi Heavy’s Kobe shipyard in the postwar era. The Maritime Self-Defense Force also sources subs from nearby facilities of Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

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