Kawasaki Heavy Industries today held a ceremony marking the delivery of the submarine Toryu to the Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD, Bōei-shō) at its Kobe Shipyard Nishihama Quay at 11:30 AM on March 24. JS Tōryū (SS-512) is the twelve boat of Sōryū-class submarines and the 29th built at the Kawasaki Kobe Shipyard after World War II. Toryu was laid down on January 27, 2017 at Kawasaki Heavy Industries Kobe Works as the 2016 plan 2900 ton type submarine No. 8127 based on the medium-term defense capability development plan and November 6, 2019. The naming and launching ceremony was held on the day. The ceremony was attended by a delegation of top Ministry of Defense officials.
Tōryū (とうりゅう) means Fighting Dragon. The name of Toryu is derived from the famous scenic dragon fighting in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, where the torrent of the Kako River flows between strangely shaped rocks.Toryu is powered by two Kawasaki 12V 25/25 SB-type diesel engines and one electric propulsion motor with a displacement of 2,950 tons and a length of 84 meters. It provides superior submerged operation and propulsion performance, and high water pressure resistance by using high strength steel for its pressure hull. It also has lithium ion battery systems for increased underwater endurance, a variety of automated systems, improved surveillance capabilities by its high-performance sonar, increased stealth capabilities, and enhanced safety measures.
The Sōryū-class submarines (16SS) are diesel-electric attack submarines. The first boat in the class entered service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF, Kaijō Jieitai) in 2009. The design is an evolution of the Oyashio-class submarine, from which it can most easily be distinguished by its X-shaped stern combination diving planes and rudders. The Sōryūs have the largest displacement of any submarine used by post-war Japan. It is Japan’s first air-independent propulsion submarine. From Sōryū to Shōryū are fitted with Kockums Naval Solutions Stirling engines license-built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, allowing them to stay submerged for longer periods of time. Furthermore, Ōryū is the world’s first lithium-ion battery submarine.
Twelve Soryu-class submarines are currently planned for the JMSDF. The design features improved underwater endurance thanks to lithium-ion batteries from the eleventh submarine in the class. Designed by GS Yuasa, the high-performance Li-Ion batteries are said to store about double the power. The Soyu-class is an improved version of the Oyashio-class submarine. All submarines of the class are named after dragons: Sōryū (Blue Dragon), Unryū (Cloud Dragon), Hakuryū (White Dragon), Kenryū (Sword Dragon), Zuiryū (Auspicious Dragon), Kokuryū (Black Dragon), Jinryū (Benevolent Dragon), Sekiryū (Red Dragon), Seiryū (Pure Dragon), Shōryū (Soaring Dragon) Ōryū (Phoenix Dragon) and Tōryū (Fighting Dragon).