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Japan commissions 10th Soryu-class submarine

18 March 2019
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Key Points

  • The JMSDF has commissioned its 10th Soryu-class SSK
  • The Soryu-class boats are Japan’s first submarines to feature AIP, which enables them to stay submerged for extended periods

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its 10th Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) on 18 March in a ceremony held in Hyogo Prefecture in west-central Japan.

Named JS Shoryu (with pennant number SS 510), the 84-m-long boat was inducted into the JMSDF's Submarine Flotilla 1, based in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, shortly after being handed over by shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) at its facility in Kobe, the company said in a press statement. Shoryu , which was launched in November 2017, is the fifth submarine of the class to be built by KHI, with the other five having been built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

The total cost of acquiring the submarine is about JPY56 billion (USD502 million), a spokesperson at the JMSDF told Jane’s on 18 March.

JS 
        <I>Shoryu, </I>
        the JMSDF's 10th Soryu-class submarine,
        <I></I>
        pictured at its
        <I></I>
        commissioning ceremony on
        <I></I>
        18 March. The last two boats of the class will have lithium-ion batteries instead of lead-acid ones. (KHI)JS <I>Shoryu, </I> the JMSDF's 10th Soryu-class submarine, <I></I> pictured at its <I></I> commissioning ceremony on <I></I> 18 March. The last two boats of the class will have lithium-ion batteries instead of lead-acid ones. (KHI)

According to Jane’s Fighting Ships , the Soryu class has a beam of 9.1 m, a hull draught of 8.4 m, and a displacement of 2,947 tonnes when surfaced and 4,100 tonnes when submerged. Powered by two Kawasaki 12V 25/25 diesel engines and four Kawasaki Kockums V4-275R Stirling air-independent propulsion (AIP) engines, the class has a top speed of 20 kt when submerged and 12 kt when surfaced.

The Soryu class is equipped with six 533 mm bow torpedo tubes that can fire the Japanese-developed Type 89 heavyweight torpedo. The boats are also capable of deploying the UGM-84C Harpoon medium-range anti-ship missile against surface targets.

Each submarine since the eighth of the class has also been equipped with an undisclosed number of countermeasures, according to a spokesman from the Japanese Ministry of Defence.

The 11th of the class and the sixth to be built by MHI, Oryu (with pennant number SS 511), was launched in October 2018 and is the first Soryu-class SSK for the JMSDF to be equipped with lithium-ion batteries in place of lead-acid batteries.

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