Japan has the world's first lithium-ion battery-powered submarine - worth $5.4bn and capable of carrying up to 30 missiles

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 22.03.2023, 01:04

Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries has handed over the world's first submarine equipped with lithium-ion batteries to the Ministry of Defence. The Taigei-class submarine is called Hakugei, which translates as "White Whale". It was unveiled in autumn 2020.

Here's What We Know

The Hakugei cannot be said to be an electric submarine. Its lithium-ion batteries allow it to stay underwater for longer. That said, the submarine is equipped with a hybrid diesel-electric engine.

The advantage of this propulsion system is that the Hakugei moves almost silently and has a minimal heat trace. The energy boost enables the submarine to accelerate quickly.

The Hakugei is 84 metres long and has a displacement of 3,000 tonnes. The submarine has a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h). The submarine is capable of carrying up to 30 missiles.

The production of Taigei class submarines is part of Japan's efforts to modernise its naval fleet. The Hakugei was the first Taigei-class submarine. It costs about $5.4 billion. By 2030, the Land of the Rising Sun wants 12 submarines.

Source: Nikkei