Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has launched the country’s third Taigei-class attack submarine during a ceremony at the company’s shipyard in Kobe City.

Named Jingei (swift swimming whale), the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) will use the underwater vehicle to support a wide variety of missions, including sinking enemy vessels.

It is part of a 70-billion-yen ($480-million) contract signed between the Japanese government and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The launch comes as North Korea, China, and Russia continue to flex their military muscles around Tokyo, fueling heightened tensions.

The Jingei is expected to be handed over to the JMSDF next year.

Features

The Taigei-class attack submarine weighs 3,000 tons and has a length of 84 meters (265 feet) and a width of 9.1 meters (29 feet).

It features system improvements such as the addition of a pump-jet technology for better propulsion.

The submarine has also been equipped with a cutting-edge sonar system for improved enemy detection.

Additionally, the Taigei-class underwater vehicle has a stealth-like design and a lithium battery system for quiet operation and longer endurance.

It can accommodate 70 crew members and has female-only compartments for up to six female personnel.

Counter-Measures System

The submarine boasts the same torpedo counter-measures system installed on the Soryu-class boats.

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However, the JMSDF plans to integrate Japan’s newest torpedo, the Type 18, offering propulsion, target detection, and processing enhancements.

The submarine can also mount the UGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missile to neutralize surface targets up to 248 kilometers (154 miles) away.