Kawasaki Heavy Industries has launched the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) second Taigei class submarine.

A ceremony was held to mark the event at the company’s Kobe Shipyard at No.1 Building Berth. It was attended by Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD) officials.

Named Hakugei, which means a white whale, the submarine is the 30th vessel to be constructed at Kawasaki Kobe shipyard since the Second World War.

The 3,000t submarine is designed to provide high water pressure resistance performance for its pressure hull. It is 84m long, has a beam of 9.1m and a depth of 10.4m.

The diesel-electric propulsion submarine carries two Kawasaki 12V 25/25 SB-type diesel engines and electric propulsion motor.

It features several automated systems, underwater launch tubes, high-performance sonar, including submarine snorkel sonar for improved surveillance capabilities, and a hull structure for increased stealth.

In addition, the boat is fitted with lithium-ion battery systems to offer increased underwater endurance. It also features improved safety measures and women-only facilities.

Construction of the submarine began in January 2019, with completion estimated to take place in March 2023.

In a Twitter post, the JMSDF tweeted that it ‘held the ship commissioning ceremony of the submarine Hakugei at Kobe Works’.

The JMSDF launched the first submarine of the class in October last year.