The event was posted on the official Twitter account of the JMSDF on March 09. “Taigei” (previously known as 29SS) is the first submarine of its class, and its name means “Great Whale” in Japanese and was once used as the name of a submarine tender of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Taigei was officially launched on October 14, 2020, and entered service 17 months later.
The external appearance of the Taigei is not much different from the Sōryū-class, but inside of it is a completely different submarine. First, the Taigei uses lithium-ion batteries instead of the 4V-275R Mk. III AIP system, which was installed aboard the first 10 Sōryū-class submarines.
Secondly, the capabilities of the sonar and combat command system have been improved, as well as the use of new acoustic absorbent materials and a floating floor structure to make it quieter. It is also equipped with Torpedo Counter Measures (TCM), which ejects decoys to evade enemy torpedoes for improved survivability.
The Taigei is scheduled to be commissioned into the JMSDF in March 2022, after which it will be used as a test submarine, according to the “National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2019 and beyond” published in December 2018. In other words, Taigei will be the dedicated ship to conduct all future tests of technology on JMSDF submarines.
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