Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has just launched the second of the new class of diesel-electric submarines. It is launched exactly one year to the day after the lead boat of the lithium-ion powered series took to the water.
Launched at Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard in the city of Kobe, this submarine is named Hakugei, or White Whale.
Before commissioning into the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), it will have to undergo final construction and sea trials.
The first of the new diesel-electric submarine class, the Taigei, was launched in October 2020. The Taigei started sea trials this past July. It is expected to be commissioned in March 2022. While, Hakugie is expected to be commissioned in March 2023.
Following are some of the features of the second Taigei-class submarine, the Hakugei:
- The Hakugei is a 3,000-ton diesel-electric attack submarine.
- It is 275 feet (84 meters) long and 9.1 meters wide.
- This submarine is designed for long-range operations in the Pacific.
- The submarine also uses high-performance sonar for improving surveillance capabilities.
- It was initially known as the 29SS class, named after the 29th year of Emperor Akihito’s reign.
- Lithium-ion batteries are used on submarines. In comparison to the lead-acid batteries, these batteries require less maintenance and can endure high speeds while submerged.
- It also uses a variety of automated systems, for increasing stealth capabilities and enhancing safety measures.