The launching ceremony was held today at the KHI shipyard in Chuo-ku, Kobe. About 380 people from Japan’s Ministry of Defense and KHI participated in the ceremony. As per tradition, Admiral Hiroshi Yamamura, Chief of Staff of the JMSDF, cut the rope which started the launch process and send the new submarine in the water for the first time.
JS Toryu is the 12th and final Soryu-class submarine produced for the JMSDF (the 6th built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the other 6 having been built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries). Tōryū (とうりゅう) means Fighting Dragon. The name of Toryu is derived from the famous scenic dragon fighting in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, where the torrent of the Kako River flows between strangely shaped rocks.
SS-512’s keel was laid in January 2017, and the submarine is set to be delivered to the JMSDF around March 2021.
About Japan’s Sōryū-class
The keel for the first submarine in the class, Soryu (SS-501), was laid down in March 2005. It was launched in December 2007 and commissioned in March 2009. The latest Soryu class SSK to joint the fleet is SS-510 JS Shōryū which was commissioned on March 18, 2019.
Twelve Soryu-class submarines are currently planned for the JMSDF. The design features improved underwater endurance thanks to lithium-ion batteries from the eleventh submarine in the class. Previous submarines use Lead-acid batteries. Designed by GS Yuasa, the high-performance Li-Ion batteries are said to store about double the power. The last two submarines of the class, fitted with the new battery technology, will probably serve as test-bed for the next generation of Japanese SSK.
The Soyu-class is an improved version of the Oyashio-class submarine. Soryu-class submarines are the world’s largest conventionally powered submarines. All submarines of the class are named after dragons: Soryū means Blue Dragon, Hakuryū (2nd in the class) White Dragon, Sekiryū (8th in the class) Red Dragon, Shoryu (10th in the class) means Soaring Dragon…
Main characteristics (as provided by Kawasaki Heavy Industries):
Displacement 2,950 Tons
– Kawasaki 12V 25 / 25SB type diesel engine 2 groups
– Kawasaki Kokkamusu V4-275R Stirling engine four
Propulsion motor: 1
Number of propellers: 1
Speed 20 knots