JAPAN UNVEILS NEW SUB TO BOOST ITS MARITIME SECURIT
Japan's newest submarine was unveiled at a shipyard in western Japan, as part of efforts to boost the country's maritime security amid China's growing assertiveness in the region, Kyodo news agency reported.
The 3,000-ton warship named the Taigei was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and is scheduled to go into service in March 2022, becoming the 22nd vessel in the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) submarine fleet.
Under its 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines, Tokyo set a goal of increasing the number of its submarines from 16 to 22 in light of increasing activities by Beijing in waters near Japan, especially around a group of Japan-administered islands claimed by China in the East China Sea.
The Taigei, meaning big whale in Japanese, measures 84 meters in length and 9.1 meters in width and costs around 76 billion yen ($720 million) to build, according to the MSDF. The 70-crew member submarine has a stealth-like design and is equipped with lithium-ion batteries so that it can remain underwater longer than previous models, it also said.