Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the third Taigei-class attack submarine for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) at its Kobe yard on October 12. The Taigei-class submarines (29SS) is a new class of attack submarines developed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. It is the successor to the Soryu class. Jingei (fast swimming whale) was once used as the name of a submarine tender of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Jingei is set to be delivered to the JMSDF in 2023. The launch of Jingei (515) is the latest milestone in Japan’s fast-paced Taigei program.
The Taigei class is equipped with a large amount of lithium-ion batteries, as is the case with the eleventh and twelfth submarines of the Soryu class (Oryu and Toryu), making it possible for the submersible to travel longer and at higher speeds under water than conventional diesel-electric submarines. Taigei-class submarines are named after whales or large fishes. The first submarine of the class, Taigei (Great Whale”) was launched by MHI in October 2020 and commissioned with the JMSDF in March 2022. Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) launched the second one, Hakugei, in October 2021.
The hull design of the Taigei class is said to not differ too much from the Soryu class but will be 100 tons heavier than its predecessor. The new submarine has an overall length of 84 meters, a beam of 9.1 m, a draught of 10.4 m, and a standard displacement of about 3,000 tonnes. The Taigei-class submarines will be more advanced as they are equipped with newer equipment such as sonar systems, snorkel power generation system. First, the Taigei uses lithium-ion batteries instead of the 4V-275R Mk. III AIP system, which was installed aboard the first 10 Soryu-class submarines. The first submarine of this class, Taigei, will be converted to a test submarine.
The submarines use Type 18 torpedo, a successor to Type 89 torpedo. The reason for the change is due to the need to acquire a dedicated test submarine instead of pulling an ordinary submarine from its operations to conduct tests. It is also equipped with Torpedo Counter Measures (TCM), which eject decoys to evade enemy torpedoes for improved survivability. The Taigei-class will have a new type of sonar system with improved detection capabilities, and a new submarine combat management system (CMS). The capabilities of the sonar and combat command system have been improved, as well as the use of new acoustic absorbent materials and a floating floor structure to make it quieter.