New Class of Japanese Submarines with VLS

Kawasaki Heavy Industry (KHI) has announced a new class of submarine to succeed the Taigei-class submarines currently the newest class in the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). Several new features are…

  1. Positioning the sail farther aft then on any previous models.
  2. Locating Dive Planes on the Bow rather than on the Sail as in previous Classes
  3. Loading of Stand off missiles as part of a the new VLS.

Propulsion will be Diesel Electric. KHI has highlighted several key points in the new class, which include High Stealth, High detection, improved maneuverability, Carbon Dioxide removal. The first three items seem to imply changes in future submarine operations. In the past JMSDF submarines operated at or near choke points between the Sea of Okhotsk (North) to the East China Sea (South). As increasing numbers of SLBM capable submarines are deployed from countries such as North Korea the JMSDF boats will need to not only operate close to North Korea’s coast, but will also be equipped to support the country’s cross-domain operations with the capability to attack from various directions with stand off missiles.

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© Gregg Smith