Shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries has launched the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s 12th Soryu-class diesel-electric submarine.
Named Toryu (with pennant number SS 512), the boat is the second in the class 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.
JS Oryu (SS-511), the first JMSDF sub with lithium-ion batteries was launched in October 2018 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).
The 84-meter submarines are said to be the world’s largest conventionally powered boats. They are also Japan’s first submarines to be fitted with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems that enable them to remain fully submerged for longer periods of time.
The 2,950-ton submarines are manned by 65 sailors.
Japan intends to build a total of 15 units in the class.