Tag Archives: Soryu-class

Dragon-Phoenix

According to Navy Recognition, the 11th Soryu-class submarine, JS Oryu (SS-511), was launched at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe on October 4th. JS Oryu (SS-511) features one significant design upgrade: It is Japan’s first submarine powered by lithium-ion batteries.

JS Oryu (SS-511) is the 11th Soryu-class submarine built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)
JS Oryu (SS-511) is the 11th Soryu-class submarine built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)

JS Oryu (SS-511) is the 11th Soryu-class submarine built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF): the 6th built by MHI, the other five ones having been built by Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation is the shipbuilding subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Oryu’s keel was laid in November 2015 and the submarine is set to be delivered to the JMSDF in March 2020.

The keel for the first submarine in the class, JS 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 JS Seiryu (SS-509) was commissioned with the JMSDF on 12 March 2018.

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) Soar Dragon.

JS Oryu (SS-511) (おうりゅう or 凰龍 in kanji) means Dragon-Phoenix.

Twelve Soryu-class submarines are planned for the JMSDF. The eleventh and twelfth submarines will feature improved underwater endurance thanks to lithium-ion batteries. The class is an improved version of the Oyashio-class submarine. Soryu-class submarines are the world’s largest conventionally powered submarines. They have an excellent operational track record and are equipped with state-of-the art technologies, including Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems that enable them to remain fully submerged for long periods of time, and advanced stealth technologies that make them more difficult to detect.

Compared to earlier submarines in the Soryu-class, Oryu doesn’t use lead-acid batteries but lithium-ion ones, designed by GS Yuasa. These high-performance batteries are said to store about double the power.

 

Main characteristics

Length 84 m/275.6 feet
Width 9.1 m/29.9 feet
Depth 10.3 m/33.8 feet
Draft 8.4 m/27.6 feet
Displacement 2,950 tons
Speed 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h

 

MHI Launched the 11th Soryu-class SSK JS Oryu (SS-511) for the JMSDF

Soryu
is becoming popular

According to Rahul Bedi, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, India has invited Japan to compete in the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) long-delayed INR500 billion ($8.1 billion) Project 75I (India) requirement for 6 diesel-electric submarines with land attack and Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capabilities. Official sources said India had recently forwarded a proposal to Tokyo asking it to consider participating in the Project 75I tender with its 4,200-tonne Soryu-class submarine.

Hakuryu (SS503) has the largest displacement of any submarine used by post war Japan
Hakuryu (SS503) has the largest displacement of any submarine used by post war Japan

In this connection it is interesting to note that the Soryu class is currently under evaluation by the Royal Australian Navy as a replacement for its six Collins-class boats. India’s offer to Japan to join Project 75I is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort at forging closer strategic and defence ties with Tokyo and formulating a wider maritime quadrilateral grouping that would include Australia and the United States.

India is also in advanced negotiations with Japan to acquire 12 ShinMaywa US-2i (formerly Shin Meiwa) amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft for around $1.65 billion, a deal that is likely to be concluded in early 2016.

The Project 75I tender, delayed by nearly seven years, was approved by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in October 2014 and is likely to be dispatched later this year. It is aimed at boosting the IN’s underwater assets, which at 11 submarines is 13 fewer than their sanctioned strength.

Project 75I envisages licence-building a submarine shortlisted from multiple contenders, including DCNS (France), TKMS subsidiary HDW (Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Rosonboronexport (Russia), under a Joint Venture (JV) with an Indian shipyard.

The Soryu-class submarines are diesel-electric submarines that entered service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2009
The Soryu-class submarines are diesel-electric submarines that entered service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2009

A committee headed by Vice Admiral A.V. Subedar recently completed an audit of seven domestic shipyards – five of them state-owned and two private – to evaluate their submarine-building capability. Officials said it would submit its report to the MoD in February, after which the selected shipyards, along with IN-approved overseas submarine manufacturers, would be invited for trials around 2016 and a platform shortlisted by 2018.

Price negotiations would follow, and IN officials anticipate the first Project 75I submarine being commissioned around 2025-27. Meanwhile, the MoD has for the third time postponed the deadline for local vendors to respond to its Requests for Information (RfI) to indigenously build more than 140 twin-engine Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH).

Industry sources said the RfI response date, for nine potential local bidders, was deferred to 28 February – from the earlier deadlines of 24 November 2014 and 24 January – as many had been unable to conclude JVs with foreign original equipment manufacturers.

India is keen for Japan to participate in its domestic materiel manufacturing programmes as it is seeking technology to boost its defence industrial base. It is also keen to propagate its bilateral strategic partnership with Japan to counter China’s growing military assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Both countries have unresolved territorial disputes with China that erupt periodically. The United States has also been advocating increased defence co-operation between India and Japan and Australia, which shares their collective concerns regarding China.

The ShinMaywa is a Japanese large STOL amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue work
The ShinMaywa is a Japanese large STOL amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue work