The newest submarine for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) was launched into the water for the first time during a festive ceremony in Kobe on Oct 31.
The submarine, named Kokuryu (Black Dragon), is said to be state-of-the art and was built at a cost of 53.4 billion yen by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. It seems no cost was spared for the ceremony either which had streamers, balloons, and a bunch of other cool stuff.
Adorned with several rising sun flags in both the regular national design and controversial war flag still used by the JMSDF, the Kokuryu sat on the slipway waiting to be launched.
Then workers knocked out several blocks holding it in place and the 84-meter-long submarine quickly yet smoothly slid backwards into the ocean. The JMSDF’s sixth submarine will remain docked in that area while the finishing touches are done on its interior.
The name Kokuryu belongs to a mythical dragon that is said to protect the North in Japanese mythology as well as Chinese where its known as heilong. When all the work is completed, the submarine will be dispatched to either Yokosuka Base in Kanagawa Prefecture or Kure Base in Hiroshima Prefecture in March of next year.
Source: MSN Sankei News
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