RIMPAC, or Rim of the Pacific, is the world’s largest international maritime exercise stage in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The biennial exercise began in 1971.
The Japanese crew of Kenryū (SS-504) will train in submarine operations under high anti-submarine warfare (ASW) threat, while the U.S. Navy will train in ASW operations against non-nuclear submarines thanks to the JMSDF SSK. It is the seventy-eighth time since 1963 that a Japanese submarine participates in an exercise organized by the USA.
JS Kenryū is the fourth of twelve Sōryū-class submarines. It was launched by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe on 15 November 2010 and commissioned with the JMSDF on 16 March 2012. Kenryū, which means “Sword Dragon”, is home ported at Kure naval base in Hiroshima Prefecture (Southern Japan).
About Sōryū-class submarine
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. The 12th and final submarine SS-512 JS Tōryū (とうりゅう) was launched in November 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 Soryu-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