Skip to comments.For MSDF's newest 'ninja' submarines, it's all about stealth (Japan)
Posted on 03/31/2014 9:02:57 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Known as the ninja of the seas, Japans Hakuryu submarine carries enough firepower to knock out an aircraft carrier with a single blow.
But the Type 89 torpedo is not the vessels most effective feature in strengthening Japans warning and surveillance operations in its waters.
A submarines greatest weapon is stealth, Maritime Self-Defense Force Capt. Kaoru Yoshida said. Our mere presence that makes (the enemy think) there might be a powerful submarine out there is a deterrent.
In the National Defense Program Guidelines formulated at the end of last year, Japan decided to increase its submarine fleet from the current 16 vessels to 22 over the next 10 years. A key reason for the increase is Chinese maritime forays, including in areas around the Senkaku Islands claimed by both Japan and China in the East China Sea.
Reporters from several media organizations, including The Asahi Shimbun, were allowed to take a trip aboard a Hakuryu submarine for the first time in late February.
The purpose of allowing access to the submarine was apparently to show that the MSDF can also flex its maritime muscle.
The Hakuryu shown to reporters was the third of the Soryu-class of submarines, which were commissioned from 2009. It has a standard displacement of 2,950 tons and a length of 84 meters.
Before heading out to sea, a pssh sound was heard as Capt. Yoshida, 40, gave the order to begin launch during a torpedo drill.
Soryu-class submarines can stay submerged longer because they generate energy by mixing fuel with liquid oxygen stored in tanks.
They are more difficult to detect with radar because they extend the air supply tube above the waters surface far fewer times than the MSDFs other submarines, which are propelled by batteries when submerged and use diesel engines to recharge the batteries.
A snorkel is essential to take in oxygen. But the air supply tubes and periscopes are easily detectable by radar.
When the snorkels up, thats your best chance to catch a sub, a P-3C patrol aircraft pilot said.
But the stealth of the Hakuryu submarine comes at a cost in terms of comfort.
The Air-Independent Propulsion engine takes up 10 meters of the length of the submarines central section, leaving cramped living quarters for the crew of 65 or so.
The captains quarters cover around 3 square meters, while the officers quarters have three triple bunk beds to fit nine people in a room.
Its tough working in an enclosed space with limited water and air, but Im motivated to take part in duties that only a few seamen can do, Lt. Cmdr. Tomoharu Horiuchi, the Hakuryus 35-year-old chief engineer, said.
To maintain secrecy, crew members themselves often do not know when they are scheduled to return to their home port.
We cant even tell our families when we leave port, Petty Officer 3rd Class Hayaki Kawai, 31, who has a 10-month-old daughter, said.
By FUMIAKI SONOYAMA/ Staff Writer
The British are also developing a sub that runs on diesel/LOX
The HMS Bagel...
Drone Subs ?
"You're looking at him."
"Right here! Shoot, can't you understand plain English?"
As long as the Japanese stay our friends and allies I am all for it, so as long as they don’t turn into the Japan as in the 1930s 1940s.
Doesn’t the exhaust leave a trail of bubbles?
Ask A Ninja!
(Do ninjas need love?)
It would if it were vented overboard. My understanding is that the waste heat from the exhaust is used to flash the LOX to gas so it can be mixed with the fuel and burned. The cooled exhaust is compressed and stored in high pressure cylinders and vented at the end of the mission.
Doubtless someone will be along shortly to correct me if my understanding is flawed...
The LOX is just expanded to gas and mixed with diesel in the Sterling engines. I guess just the gas pipes need some heating to prevent ice. The carbon dioxide exhaust is dissolved into the seawater without bubbles.
Japanese torpedos were sure a lot better than ours in WWII. Very glad that their submarine tactics sucked.
Long Lance, I believe that they were called.
Next time they might want to reconsider allowing reporters on board, or even talking about their sub altogether! :O
I know that movie is considered a bomb but I always got a kick out of it. I first saw it on HBO in the early 1980s.
The Japanese strategy was that only capital ships were worthy targets. Merchant ships were to be left alone and possibly a sign of cowardice to attack one. Later, they decided to turn subs into delivery vehicles.