The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF, Kaijō Jieitai) has commissioned its first Li-Ion battery-equipped Sōryū-class submarine, JS Ōryū (SS-511), during a ceremony at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) Kobe shipyard on March 5.
JS Ōryū (“Phoenix Dragon”) is the 11th submarine in the Sōryū-class and is also the first Japanese submarine to be installed with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The Li-ion batteries have improved the submarine’s underwater endurance significantly and will be an advantage over the slow recharge capability of the air-independent propulsion (AIP) system installed on the first ten Sōryū-class boats.
5 MAR, the Ship Commissioning Ceremony for JS OURYU was held at Kobe shipyard, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry. OURYU is 11th of SOURYU type submarine and promoted persistence and speed performance during submerge due to install Lithium Ion Battery for the first time. pic.twitter.com/UdzeFDExad
— Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (@jmsdf_pao_eng) March 5, 2020
Sōryū-class submarines (16SS) are diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) operated by the JMSDF. The design is an evolution of the earlier Oyashio-class submarine, from which it can most easily be distinguished by its X-shaped stern combination diving planes and rudders.
The Sōryū-class submarines have a length of 84 m and a displacement of 4,100 tonnes when submerged. They have the largest displacement of any submarine used by post-war Japan and are its first air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarine.
The first ten boats of the class are powered by two Kawasaki 12V 25/25 diesel engines and four Kawasaki Kockums V4-275R Stirling Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) engines. This enables the boats to have a top speed of 20 knots when submerged and of 12 knots when surfaced. The submarines, from the 11th one (JS Ōryū), is equipped with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. This has improved the underwater endurance significantly and will be an advantage over the slow recharge capability of the AIP system.
The Sōryū-class boats are equipped with six HU-606 533 mm bow tubes that can fire Type 89 heavyweight torpedo. The boats are also capable of deploying the UGM-84C Harpoon medium-range anti-ship missile (AShM) against surface targets. The submarines also have two 3-inch underwater countermeasure launcher tubes for the launching of Acoustic Device Countermeasures (ADCs).
Each of the Sōryū-class submarines has a crew complement of 65 (9 officers, 56 enlisted).
The first boat in the class, JS Sōryū (SS-501), entered service in 2009. The 12th Soryu-class submarine, JS Toryu (SS-512) “Fighting Dragon”, was launched by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) during a ceremony at its facility in Kobe on Nov. 6, 2019.