The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) commissioned the Taigei-class attack submarine “Hakugei” (SS- 514) during a ceremony at Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) in Kobe. The submarine was ordered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 2018. Hakugei was laid down at Kawasaki Heavy Industries Kobe Shipyard on 25 January 2019 as the 2017 plan 3000-ton submarine No. 8129 based on the medium-term defense capability development plan (26 medium-term defense), and in 2020. It was named Hakugei (White Sperm Whale) at the naming and launching ceremony held at the factory on 14 October. Hakugei will be based in Kure, the deployment destination is undecided.
The Taigei-class submarines (29SS) is a new class of attack submarines developed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. The development of the Taigei (Big Whale) was conducted from a variety of researches aimed at developing new and improved submarine components to improve the capabilities of “next-generation submarines” that will operate in the 2020s and beyond. It is the successor to the S?ry? class. 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 S?ry? class (?ry? and T?ry?), making it possible for the submersible to travel longer and at higher speeds under water than conventional diesel-electric submarines.
The first submarine of this class, Taigei, will be converted to a test submarine. 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. 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. However, the Taigei-class submarines will be more advanced as they are equipped with newer equipment such as sonar systems, snorkel power generation system. The Taigei class will use lithium-ion batteries much like the JS Oryu and JS Toryu submarines. The submarines use the Type 18 torpedo (ja), a successor to the Type 89 torpedo.