Japan receives seventh Soryu-class submarine

Japanese Ministry of Defence on March 7 received the seventh Soryu-class submarine, ‘Jinryu’ in a ceremnoy held at the MHI Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works’ No.3 pier in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.

The Jinryu, which translates to “benevolent dragon”, is the fourth submarine to be built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, who also built the country’s first Soryu-class submarine. The official keel laying ceremony was held February 14, 2012, while the vessel was launched October 8, 2014.

According to MHI, the Soryu-class submarines are the world’s largest conventionally powered submarines. They are also Japan’s first submarine to be fitted with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems that enable them to remain fully submerged for longer periods of time.

The 84-meter submarine is 9.1 meters wide, displaces 2,950 tonnes and uses its Diesel-Stirling-electric main engine to propel it to a maximum billed speed of 20 knots. It is manned by 65 sailors.

According to media reports, this is the class of submarine Japan will offer to Australia as replacement for the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarines. Other competitors in the Australian submarine bid are France and Germany.

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