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Japan launches second Taigei-class submarine

14th October 2021 - 12:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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Hakugei launches at Kawasaki Heavy Industries Kobe Works shipyard. (Photo: JMSDF via Twitter)

The future JS Hakugei is Japan’s fourth lithium-ion battery-equipped submarine, following Taigei and the final two boats of the Soryu-class.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has launched the second Taigei-class submarine, Hakugei, at its Kobe Works shipyard.

Officials from the country's MoD attended the launch ceremony on 14 October.

Construction of the second-in-class submarine for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) began in January 2019, and Hakugei is expected to be completed in March 2023.

Japan launched the first of the new diesel-electric submarine class, Taigei, in October 2020.

Shephard previously reported that the Taigei-class is powered by lithium-ion batteries, which the JMSDF believes offers advantages in endurance and maintenance when compared to lead-acid batteries.

Shephard Defence Insight notes up to seven boats are planned to supplement the Soryu-class.

The Taigei-class submarines are being built by KHI and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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