Home Asia Pacific Japan’s lithium-ion battery submarine JS Oryu arrives at Kure Base

Japan’s lithium-ion battery submarine JS Oryu arrives at Kure Base

Lithium-ion battery-powered JS Oryu
JS Oryu at Kure Base with another submarine in the class alongside. Photo: JMSDF

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF) newest Soryu-class submarine JS Oryu has arrived at her Kure Base homeport for the first time.

Oryu’s maiden arrival at the submarine base comes after the boat entered service in early March this year.

In addition to being the eleventh diesel-electric boat in the class, JS Oryu (SS-511) is also the first to feature feature lithium-ion batteries, unlike its predecessors that rely on the conventional lead-acid batteries.

The main benefit of the lithium-ion batteries is that they store considerably more power, allowing the Oryu and all future boats in the class to spend more time submerged under water.

JS Oryu (SS-511) was launched in October 2018, by shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Japan intends to have 15 submarines in the class delivered by MHI and compatriot shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Japan’s 2,950-ton submarines are propelled by a Diesel-Stirling-electric main engine featuring air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems, which help them stay under water for weeks, without having to surface. They are armed with torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

The lithium-ion battery technology for submarines is also being embraced by South Korea, which will incorporate its own lithium-ion technology on the future KSS-III submarines.