The first Japanese diesel-electric attack submarine of the Taigei class launched

(To Stefano Peverati)

On Tuesday 13 October at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard, in the presence of the Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi, the first of the three boats, currently under construction, was launched. Taigei (SS-513) which will enter service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force starting in 2022.

The design of the new boat is very similar to the class Soryu (2,950 tons), compared to which it is heavier than 100 tons, and has a length of 84,0 m, width 9,1 m and draft 10,4 m.

Il Taigei is propelled by a diesel-electric system that uses lithium-ion batteries similar to those already present on theOryu (SS-511) and Toryu (SS-512) of the class Soryu. In addition, the submarine is equipped with a ZPS6-H search radar and an Oki ZQQ-8 sonar and is armed with six 606mm HU-21 533 torpedo tubes capable of launching Type 89 torpedoes and A / U / RGM-84 missiles. Harpoon.

The Type 89, produced by MHI, are wire-guided acoustic torpedoes that can operate in active and passive mode with a warhead carrying 295 kg of explosives, while theHarpoon is an anti-ship missile capable of operating in all weather conditions and hitting a target beyond the horizon (124 km). The missile is radar-guided, which thanks to its design, the low-altitude cruise flight profile skimming the water with the possibility of evasive maneuvers, allow it a good rate of effectiveness and survival.

Currently, the submarine component of the JMSDF, operating from the naval bases of Kure and Yokosuka, consists of nine class boats Oyashio in front line service, in addition to the head of the class Oyashio and the second oldest boat the Michishio converted to training submarines. While, as regards the class Soryu eleven boats are operational and in March 2021 the twelfth and last submarine of the class II will be added Toryu (SS-512).

Photo: Japan MoD