Japanese submarines since World War II have been named after ocean currents. This new class of submarine is moving away from that. Starting with the Soryu-class submarines, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces have started naming their submarines after mythological creatures. Japan’s first air-independent propulsion submarine, the Soryu-class submarines are fitted with Kockums Stirling engines license-built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, allowing them to stay submerged for longer periods of time.
At a cost close to the $540 million mark, the 11th Soryu-class submarine, has demonstrated an improved underwater endurance compared with the existing Soryu-class submarines, by mounting lithium-ion batteries. The Soryu-class submarines have been so impressive, that even governments from Australia, India, and Taiwan have considered or are considering contracting with the Japanese government to gain access to this submarine class to modernize their current navies.
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