A newly classified submarine has been disclosed by Japan on 14 October at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipyard named Taigei which means Big Whale. It would bring the nation’s submarine fleet to a total of 22 boats once it starts its duty.
It is a 3,000-ton diesel-electric attack submarine with a stealth-like design which is 84 meters (275 feet, 7 inches) long and can take in a crew of 70. It is built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and is scheduled to start its duty in march 2022 and become the 22nd vessel in the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s submarine fleet.
It was previously known as 29SS class and was named after the 29th year of Emperor Akihito’s dynasty in Japan. It is called the replacement for Japan’s Soryu submarine and it will be using lithium-ion batteries as its power source just like Soryu. Japan has organized huge research into the use of lithium-ion batteries since the year 2000. It has also been said that the lithium-ion batteries require less maintenance and has the ability of long vitality high speeds while submerged. Japan is the only country to have working submarines with lithium-ion batteries and it can remain longer under the water than the previous models.
The total cost to build the submarine is around ¥76 billion ($720 million) according to MSDF. The submarine will be undergoing fitting out and sea tests before it is processed at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2022. As it becomes operational it will become the 22nd submarine in service with the japan force.
The total force will be composed of 9 older Oyashio-class submarines, 11 Soryus and a 12th Soryu-class in the upcoming year, and the Taigei. Well, Japan has plans for more Taigei-class submarines and requested a budget of $654.1 million in the latest budget request.