JS Taigei (SS-513) is the latest attack submarine addition to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and headlines the new Taigei-class to number seven boats in all. The type is in the 3,000 tonnes range and capable of firing torpedoes and anti-ship missiles from range. It follows the aging Soryu-class into service and showcases lithium-ion batteries to enhance operational range and general straight-line performance when compared to traditional diesel-electric-powered boats.
The lead ship was ordered in 2017 and was constructed by defense powerhouse Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Her keel was laid down at Kobe, Japan on March 16th, 2018 and she was launched to sea on October 14th, 2020 with an expected commissioning date sometime in or around March 2020. She is currently (2021) being fitted out for service.
The initial boat of the class will be utilized in the testbed role to expedite development of technologies for the boats that follow.
Following the proven lines of the earlier Soryu-class design, the new boat showcases a length of 275.6 feet with a beam of 29.9 feet, and a draught of 34 feet. The design carries the ZPS-6H surface-low-altitude air-search radar suite as well as Oki ZQQ-8 series sonar. Armament is 6 x 21" (533mm) HU-606 torpedo tubes supporting the Type 18 or Type 89 torpedo family and can also launch the Harpoon anti-ship missile - giving the boat a two-pronged attack capability. Aboard is space for up to seventy crew.
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March 2022 - JS Taigei (SS-513) was commissioned into active service on March 9th, 2022.
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