On March 5, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force commissioned its first Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) equipped with lithium-ion batteries. According to an official release the SSK JS Oryu (pennant number – SS 511) joined the Submarine Flotilla 1, based in Kure, Hiroshima prefecture. The submarine is the 11th SSK of the class to deploy with the Japanese navy and the sixth to be built by MHI.
The SSK JS Oryu is equipped with lithium-ion batteries, which would reportedly enable the submarine to shut off their diesel-electric propulsion and operate on battery power alone for notable periods under water. These batteries are less noisy than diesel-electric engines. So, they should allow to reduce the submarine’s acoustic signature making detection harder.