Japan commissions tenth Soryu-class submarine JS Shoryu

JMSDF photo of JS Soryu following its launch in November 2017.

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force welcomed its tenth Soryu-class submarine into service in a delivery and commissioning ceremony in Kobe on March 18.

The submarine was delivered by Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries, sixteen months after it was launched in November 2017.

In addition to being the tenth in its class, Shōryū is the 28th submarine to be built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries after World War II.

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

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.

Japan has so far launched 11 of possible 13 units in the class. The 11th submarine, JS Oryu (SS-511), was launched in October 2018. The boat is being built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and is the first JMSDF submarine to be fitted with lithium-ion batteries which store considerably more power than the lead-acid batteries installed on the previous ten Soryu-class submarines.

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