Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industry Reveals Advanced Submarine Concept Featuring Vertical Launch Systems

New submarines will succeed the Navy's Taigei-class
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 08:58 AM, December 18, 2023
  • 1149
Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industry Reveals Advanced Submarine Concept Featuring Vertical Launch Systems
Kawasaki's new submarine concept

Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industry (KHI) unveiled a new submarine concept for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), intended to succeed the Taigei-class, on December 12.

Notable design features include an aft sail placement for enhanced maneuverability and bow diving planes. As part of a Ministry of Defense study on integrating standoff missiles, the concept emphasizes the importance of vertical launch systems (VLS), positioned uniquely between the sail and bow. The propulsion system is diesel-electric, departing from nuclear propulsion.

KHI's submarine prioritizes high stealth, advanced detection tech, and carbon dioxide removal for covert operations and environmental considerations. These aspects address evolving dynamics in JMSDF submarine operations, considering threats like North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The need for improved underwater maneuverability and detection capabilities is highlighted, especially in North Korea's coastal areas.

The integration of standoff missiles marks a departure from passive operations, aligning JMSDF submarines with the integrated firepower supporting Japan's cross-domain operations. The VLS-equipped submarines are poised to induce unease in adversaries through attacks from various directions with standoff missiles.

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