On the 14th of October of 2020, Japan launched its first diesel-electric submarine, Taigei, as in the Big Whale. Now, exactly a year later, Japan launched the second submarine of the same class named Hakugei meaning the White Whale into the waters.
The previous submarine entered the waters through the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard, and this one got into the water from Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard, both in Kobe city. However, JMSDF will only use the new submarine after its final construction, which will take until March of 2023. Similarly, the first submarine began its sea trials in July and commissions in March of 2022.
The Hakugei and the Taigei submarines have lithium-ion batteries as a power source, and Japan is the only country with subs powered with such a power source.
The Taigei and the hakugei both are 3,000-ton diesel-electric attack submarines. Their length measures up to 84 meters. Japan decided to strengthen its defense capabilities from the year 2010. However, the extensive research on lithium-ion batteries on submarines began as early as the 2000s. This could be the result of China’s suspicious invading steps towards the border and military advancement.
These are not the only submarines Japan is in the process of construction. Another sub is already under construction, and two more have been authorized by the Japanese Defence Ministry.
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