Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the third Taigei-class submarine for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) at its Kobe yard on October 12.
The launch of Jingei (515), which translates to swift swimming whale, is the latest milestone in Japan’s fast-paced Taigei program.
The lead boat of the new air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines that feature lithium-ion batteries for improved performance was commissioned in March this year after beinglaunched and named in October 2020.
Jingei is expected to be delivered to the navy next year, according to the shipbuilder. Hakugei, the second boat in the class that was launched in October last year, is also scheduled for delivery in 2023.
Taigei boats are Japan’s next-generation submarines that will succeed the Soryu-class. At an estimated 3,000 tons, the new boats will be 100 tons heavier than the Soryus.
The boats feature improvements in systems on board and the addition of pump-jet technology for propulsion. As previously reported, the Taigei-class will have a new type of sonar system with improved detection capabilities, and a new submarine combat management system (CMS).
The submarines are jointly built by KHI and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.