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Japan commissions third Taigei-class submarine

Japan's third Taigei-class submarine, JS Jingei , seen here at its handover and commissioning ceremony on 8 March 2024. (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency, Japan)

Japan has received and commissioned its third Taigei-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK).

The submarine, which is now in service as JS Jingei, was handed over to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on 8 March, said the country's Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) in a 12 March post on its official social media page.

Photos accompanying the post indicate that the JMSDF's naval ensign was also raised on the submarine at the handover ceremony, indicating that it was commissioned on the same day.

Jingei was handed over and commissioned at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' (MHI's) shipyard in Kobe. The SSK was launched by MHI in October 2022.

The Taigei class displaces about 3,000 tonnes when surfaced, and it has an overall length of about 84 m, an overall beam of 9.1 m, and a hull draught of about 8.5 m. The SSK can accommodate a crew complement of 70, and this includes a separate compartment for female crew members.

Its form factor incorporates an X-configuration stern rudder, which provides the vessel with better manoeuvring capabilities, especially in shallower waters.

Jingei is powered by two Kawasaki 12V 25/25SB diesel engines and can attain top speeds in excess of 20 kt when dived. It is also equipped with lithium ion batteries instead of lead-acid cells, which is a similar to its sister ships in the Taigei class, and the JMSDF's final two Soryu-class SSKs.

While it has been equipped with bow- and flank-mounted sonars, Jingei is also able to deploy towed array sensors to better detect enemy boats across various thermal layers.

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