Shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has hosted a naming and launching ceremony for Japan’s first Taigei-class submarine at its Kobe shipyard.
Future JS Taigei (SS 513) is the lead boat of the next-generation submarines that will succeed the Soryu-class. MHI compatriot Kawasaki Heavy Industries is building the second unit in the class.
According to scarce information available on the new Taigei-class (29SS), they will retain much of the design features of their Soryu-class predecessor with improvements in systems on board and the likely addition of pump-jet technology for propulsion.
They will also be powered by lithium-ion batteries, just like the final two units of the Soryu-class. At an estimated 3,000 tons, Taigei-class boats will be 100 tons heavier than the Soryus.
As a first-in-class boat, Taigei will now start an extensive testing campaign before entering service sometime in 2022. The second unit that is under construction at KHI is expected to be launched in 2021 and commissioned in 2023.