Japan launches first lithium-ion powered attack submarine

Photo: JMSDF
Photo: JMSDF

JS Oryu, Japan’s first diesel-electric submarine to be powered by lithium-ion batteries, was launched at the Kobe shipyard of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on Thursday, October 4.

The 84-metre, 2,676-tonne Oryu will be delivered to the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force in March 2020 where it will join the ten other attack submarines of the Soryu-class already in service.

Unlike its older Soryu-class sisters, Oryu is equipped with lithium-ion batteries instead of traditional lead-acid batteries. The newer batteries will help extend the submarine’s underwater cruising range by a significant margin as well as greatly reduce its acoustic signature, making it even harder to detect.

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