Navy eyeing off new Japanese submarines
July 9, 2012
THE admiral in charge of planning for Australia's next generation of submarines and the chief defence scientist are studying an advanced new submarine in service with the Japanese navy.
Rear-Admiral Rowan Moffitt, head of the Royal Australian Navy's Future Submarine Program, and Dr Alexander Zelinsky, the Chief Defence Scientist, travel to Japan this month to look at the Soryu-class submarines, which started service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force three years ago.
Access to the Soryu technology was discussed during a visit to Australia last month by the Japanese navy's chief, Admiral Masahiko Sugimoto. It was only in December that Tokyo lifted its post-World War II embargo on defence exports.
The 4200-tonne Soryu-class boats are the only new conventional submarines of the size and capabilities set out in Canberra's 2009 defence white paper for 12 new submarines to take over from the Collins-class subs from the late 2020s.
''Our strategy with the Japanese is one of hope, because there are some very attractive characteristics about the Japanese submarine,'' Rear-Admiral Moffitt said.