COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
politics

Japan, Australia consider submarine deal that could rattle China

33 Comments
By Tim Kelly and Matt Siegel

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
Login to comment

The thing that people should understand is that Japan doesn't want to go to war; however, of the land is invaded, Japan has no choice unless to defend herself against invasion from China.

Another thing, not only Japan, but also other neighbors are concerning about China and her devilish behavior by invading islands from Japan, The Philippines, Vietnam and other lands.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

The last thing this Asian region needs is a conflict. China,Japan and Korea have had 67 years to forgive the past and build a harmonious partnership. But sadly , that generation of not just politicians from that era ,are unable to do so. Strange seeing most of the citizens practice the Buddhist faith. Do they really want to see this region end up like the Middle East. This part of the world has so much to offer the rest of the world, in many fields, business , tourism, technology to name a few. So I wish those who have the ability to promote peace and forgiveness politicians and the media would put all their energies into achieving this goal, and to to serve the people they represent and not just their own agendas. Conflicts only serve to benefit the arms industry, and no one else. If those CEO's,politicians and the military top brass where the first in the front line in any conflict , they wouldn't be in such a hurry to start thats for sure.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Generally speaking, this is a very good move both from Japan and Australia.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good move Japan! Who cares what China think, it is irrelevant. Look at their defence budget, is any one object to this, if they do you think China care. Arrogant and hypocrites!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You really have to love how Japan has a constitution that legally does not allow these things to exist, but that they can profit from. If there were a loop-hole Olympics, Japan would be pure gold! As for turning China's head? who cares. Japan won't benefit from the blow-back much, though, while Australia will get some good tech.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

You really have to love how Japan has a constitution that legally does not allow these things to exist, but that they can profit from

Where's that in Constitution that Japan can't defend itself? Maybe your copy is different from the one I have or, I assume that's true, you never had read it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

If China had chosen to pursue real regional partnerships and sharing of resources then none of this would probably be happening. Unfortunately, countries in this region have seen hard evidence that China is willing to strain relations to the limit by choosing physical aggression, intimidation, trade as a weapon (by witholding essential rare earths) and blunt force (the land grabs and ramming/sinking of vessels).

An arms race may be the only thing that China understands and the only thing that keeps it in check. Sad but true.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Things are at a state that when Japan mentions anything military related, everybody immediately thinks... China.

Not Russia, or even North Korea, but China.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I see them all the time here in Kobe, at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyards. Small and black that run on dirty diesel and can't spend much time under before coming up for air and a battery recharge. I've been in the navy and you would't get me on one of those, except for a quick trip around the harbour.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Zichi

Most people are not fit for sub duty and I don't think the Navy would have selected you anyways.

The Soryu is 84 m long, 9.1 m wide with about 10.3 m highest at the sail. This is little smaller than the Astute class but the Astute class requires a large radioactivity shield so the actual compartment for human activity is about the same.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

SamuraiBlue

Zichi. Most people are not fit for sub duty and I don't think the Navy would have selected you anyways.

At the time I was on a mine hunter and was asked if I wanted to transfer to subs, which I didn't but anyway I agree with you?

The Soryu diesel subs are the one you see here in Kobe, they build and repair them. You can see them on the Google Earth, suppose the Chinese can too?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Small and black that run on dirty diesel and can't spend much time under before coming up for air and a battery recharge.

So you prefer the alternative - nuclear powered subs? Which also have diesel engines anyway? (At least, that's what I'm going to assume is the use in the case the diesel power of the Royal Navy's Upholder and Vanguard classes. For one thing, diesel engines are used in the event that the subs have problems with their reactors, or part of the mechanical assembly used by the main propulsion system. You need to get to the surface if possible, you also need breathable air, I think they are also used for a number of other purposes).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

zichi

As you and I know both know you were only selected as a candidate and would require to go through extensive training in which certain amount always wash out.

PLA maybe able to see it moored at a harbor but they can't see it (or hear it) once out at sea which what counts.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You really have to love how Japan has a constitution that legally does not allow these things to exist, but that they can profit from.

Article 9 or anywhere in the constitution for that matter doesn't prohibit Japan exporting weapons to a Third party, the Ban on Arms Exports isn't one made in the constitution, as evidenced by Sato and Fukuda adding new rules regarding Arms Exports 20 and 29 years later respectively. Also the DPJ began the slippery slope of exemptions from the blanket ban in 2011, this isn't something new.

Japan won't benefit from the blow-back much, though, while Australia will get some good tech.

How will Japan get blow-back from this? The only party that has blow-back related to them is China, since they wanted to intimidate the DPJ-led Japan into re-negotiating the Senkaku lease, only to realise they found themselves with a right wing premier like Abe being elected who won't deal with Chinas threats, leading to steps such as an Arms Export Deal, in this instance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan is considering selling submarine technology to Australia

Perfect strategy, with a stronger Aussie sub navy Communist China will be hard pressed to continue with it's invasion and conquest of strategy.

hatsoffJun. 01, 2014 - 05:46PM JST If China had chosen to pursue real regional partnerships and sharing of resources then none of this would probably be happening. Unfortunately, countries in this region have seen hard evidence that China is willing to strain relations to the limit by choosing physical aggression, intimidation, trade as a weapon (by witholding essential rare earths) and blunt force (the land grabs and ramming/sinking of vessels).

BRAVO ZULU to you!!!!!!!

minello7Jun. 01, 2014 - 08:05AM JST The last thing this Asian region needs is a conflict.

Where have you been?

Communist China has been engaged in open conflict with it's neighbor's and has told those neighbor's that the entire China Sea belongs to it.

This is a product of Communist China's aggression.

zichiJun. 01, 2014 - 06:02PM JST I see them all the time here in Kobe, at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyards. Small and black that run on dirty diesel and can't spend much time under before coming up for air and a battery recharge. I've been in the navy and you would't get me on one of those, except for a quick trip around the harbour.

Served on a SSBN in the 1980's early 90s and we had a name for surface ships, TARGETS....

Dirty diesel, I love that phrase. The old pig-boats weren't that bad.

When submerged they runoff battery power and then come-up to periscope death to SNORKEL (look it up) then submerge again. A fully charged battery will last a whole lot longer than you might think.

On more than one drill we went off of battery power and let me tell you, it was fun. Also all Nuke Subs have batteries that need to be recharged every so often. Redundancy was and is the name of game, for every primary there was a secondary backup.

Submarine's are not for anyone, surface navy thought we were strange and a bit insane, but that was further from the truth.

When I went to Sub school I went with 21 volunteers and out of the 21 only two of us made it through the training. Saw grown men freak-out and cry like 3 year olds when we went through some of the trainers.

My favorite of all was the "Wet Trainer", when the water started pouring in that's when the boys and the men were separated.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Why is this news today? Talks of this started way back in late March and April of 2014. This isn't news. Its BELATED NEWS.

I thought the Aussies were thinking about buying those New German AIP 212 subs super quiet and low manpower subs. The ones the Germans refused to sell to Japan.

Subs are generally classified as attack subs, which is an offensive weapon. I'm not sure Japan is even allowed to sell this type of weapon systems to anyone. And 30billion is way too much for 6 subs to replace the Aussie Collins class antiques.

Traditionally, the Aussies would use EU systems on subs. Something is fishy here. I think the Aussies is trying use Japan to lowball the Germans or Italians, since they have the best diesel AIP subs around.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

SamuraiBlue,

I've never failed at anything, once I decided to do something, and if I had decided to become a submariner then I would have succeded that too, especially since my field was advanced electronics, and back in the 1960's when I was in the navy, my field was very in demand, especially with guided missile systms. I even turned down a job with the secret services although I did attend the various interview and testings but only because I got to spend a week at a secret base.

Back to subs and an important aspect of any is the design of the screw, from which scientists can work out the sound it would make. It took quite a few years before countries, including America, realised that their subs were on Google Earth, and now they tend to cover them with blue plastic.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Some people don't understand that China's recent moves are just belatedly catching up to all the other players. Is it not completely obvious what will happen as the other players up the ante??

China does not need to be rattled. It needs to be put at ease.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The Soryu diesel subs are the one you see here in Kobe, they build and repair them. You can see them on the Google Earth, suppose the Chinese can too?

Have you ever been to the Kure Naval Base? You can see everything from the shore, you don't need satellite to see what's happening there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@highball7

I thought the Aussies were thinking about buying those New German AIP 212 subs super quiet and low manpower subs. The ones the Germans refused to sell to Japan.

Where in the hell did you pull this out?

Japan had NEVER made ANY request to the Germans for Sub technology. FYI 212 is a much smaller sub then the Oshiyo class prior to the Soryu class.Why in the hell would Japan make request for a smaller and less capable one when Japan already had a sub with more capacity?

zichi

if I had decided to become a submariner then I would have succeded that too

Yeah, Yeah, that is what they all say.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Subs are generally classified as attack subs, which is an offensive weapon.

The MJSF has used them for decades without anybody complaining. Diesel subs are used by a number of navies for coastal defence.

But we're talking about the drive trains in any case.

I'm not sure Japan is even allowed to sell this type of weapon systems to anyone.

Well that adds a lot of credibility. You can tell the Japanese and Australian representatives before they sign anything. It's good thing you are on the ball.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When I went to Sub school I went with 21 volunteers and out of the 21 only two of us made it through the training. Saw grown men freak-out and cry like 3 year olds when we went through some of the trainers.

Yes, they're regarded special in any navy. In JMSDF it takes quit a while. First you're going to serve aboard 'normal' ship, Then if you want to serve aboard submarine you're undergoing aptitude tests. After clearing it you're entering the Submarine Training Unit in Kure for 4~5 months in school. Then you're deployed on the training submarine for 6~12 months. After clearing it you can finally get your pass to the exclusive submariners club obtaining the badge with dolphin and be in the elite 4% group of Japanese Navy!

A story from JMSDF - 45 days underwater and if you wanted to light a match it wouldn't as there wasn't enough oxygen for it to flame ;) Standing on the sail in the winter also isn't the most pleasant thing you can do in the navy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just about anything that democratic countries do together is sufficient to "rattle" China. They can stop being rattled by just terminating their military and territorial expansion programs and actually live up to a "Peaceful Rise".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan should also be talking to Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. They probably can't all afford subs individually, but maybe they could form a collective to put a few in the South China Sea. Let's see how rattled China gets then.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am Australian and cant wait for our delivery of giant fighting robots, dont let me down japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gordon Swarbrick JUN. 02, 2014 - 10:20AM JST

I am Australian and cant wait for our delivery of giant fighting robots, dont let me down japan!

The nature of Sub is let the ships down under sea unlike surface navy ships. Sub Marines Japan has no track record of delivering the reliable and effective Sub Marines as US of the A. US Collins class subs has caused the nightmare for Australia navy.

Australia defense budget has been blown out and tax payers have been kept under dark for purchasing the modern Sub Marines. The sad truth of Australia is it is over reliant on sugar coated words of foreigners. Because it lacks the indigenous design and technology. It has been cheated before.

If you have been in Sub, it is very dark like under ground tunnel. There are also dark side of the story of PM Tony Abbot who said he is confident for everything he has ordered for. Reality is he is the loose cannon who is hopeless for qualifying as smart shopper.

http://www.news.com.au/national/collins-class-submarines-put-australian-defence-in-dark-place-after-unable-to-deploy-for-five-months/story-fncynjr2-1226878865577

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/tick-for-collinsclass-submarines-lifts-budget-pressure/story-e6frg8yo-1226875214527

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is Japan's choice? To teach many future generations to cower and continuously submit to China by apologizing for World War II, even 10 centuries and longer from now? Or will Japan tell China to shove it?

Japan has to become strong and defend itself. I am American, but I wouldn't trust America to honor its promises.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

SB,

Japan has been DROOLING about the 209, now the 212 for YEARS. Its only because US and Germany refused to sell them.

The 212 is a smaller sub and that's exactly what Japan needs. They can field more in numbers with a REDUCED crew.

Japan's navy personnel is relatively small compare to others. With a smaller crew operating the 212, Japan can field a much larger # in AIP disel subs. And the 212 has superior range and quietness.

Bigger DIESEL sub doesn't mean much since they need to recharge batteries ever so often. A smaller sub with less HUMAN BEINGS operating the sub will give it much better efficiency.

This Aussie deal is a smokescreen. Unless Japan is willing to transfer ALL techs and systems to the Aussies, there will not be a deal, not at 30billion. And the Aussie does not have a military complex tradition, so I don't see them buying the whole package from Japan. Another problem with this, most of the weapon and sonar systems are Japanese. They are British and US systems. So they are not for Japan to sell.

Unless this deals involves the Brits and US, Japan has no capability on fielding this package to Aussies alone. Its hogwash news.

However, the Germans and Italians can. And they have FAR FAR FAR more superior diesel sub than Japan. Only the Russian diesel subs can hold up with the Germans.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Ignorance is bliss, isn't it.

I suggest people do some research instead of taking figures out of wiki without actually understanding what it stands. First of all, JMSDF does not disclose range of her combat assets since they consider it as military secret. Anyone who actually reads into figures will find the range of Soryu is specified as AIP endurance (est.): 6100 nautical miles (11297.2 km; 7060.75 miles) at 6.5 knots this means the range under AIP endurance is 6,100nml. as the saying goes the devil is in the details, what AIP endurance means the range of Soryu under water completely independent from the atmosphere, in other words no intake through snorkeling. If you do some research the equivalent range for 212 under the same condition is 780km (420nm) / 8kt, a far cry compared from the Soryu. Another point is SIZE counts since you need to take all what is required all with you including air, fuel on top of various sensors simply put the bigger the ears the better you can hear.

As for personnel, again some people do not read what other people points out, it takes a unique skill set just to be selected to board a sub and even more rare to do mission sensitive operation like sonar operator since you need a finely trained ears to identify various acoustic patterns which you need to be born with not able to obtain by training alone.

One last point is Germany provides 214, an export version of the 212 in which various nation had purchased. Germany is not going to single out Japan because of export sensitivity issue, no Japan never required German technology even if they offered it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SB,

Ignorance is bliss when you have zero knowledge about the intricacies of the Japanese military complex.

The Soryu with Kockums AIP (Swedish made, NOT Japanese made) capacity is PUBLIC knowledge. That by itself can determine the COMBAT range of ANY AIP Conventional diesel Sub.

The Combat system, sensor complement, sonar system, engagement systems, and communication systems of ANY Japanese SSK class are "ALL OPEN SECRETS". Meaning everyone in any substantial military knows. Or any personnel that has ANY dealings with Japan knows. I've said it before, there is no military secrets in Japan.

Thank you for typing out all the wiki figures but we can all google them with ease.

Size does not matter IF Japan's aim is for SELF DEFENSE. And with a 27 member crew for the 214 or the 212, it has tremendous advantage for Japan over anyone else in the region.

It takes unique skills sets for every SKILLED profession. Much like working in the silent services. That's why limiting the crew member is KEY for fielding a large fleet of diesel subs for Japan BECAUSE of Japan's vast coastlines as an island nation.

I don't know what your deal is but the German subs are perfect for Japan. JMSDF knows that as well but for reasons of certain "party" interference, and the no longer functional diesel program in US as well as the lack of support from the early onset from Spain, Japan HAD to develop its own domestic program.

You don't need to explain AIP to me. I know what it is. Anyone that is literate can find out the definition of it. And the range for U214 is 780+1248nm at 4kt with AIP and fuel cell submerged with endurance of maximum 22 days at constant submerged sprint speed of 15-20kt. Germans use PEM cell assembly which has SUPERIOR advantage to any other sub in the same class. It produces ZERO HEAT signature. Giving it longer submerged period over ANY OTHER SSK. As you have stated which you didn't know the "devil in the details" so to speak.

To make it easier for you to understand: Soryu: Submerged using AIP speed max 6.5kt constant cruise about 3 weeks with max 6100nm (estimated based on the Goteland Class and A26) with increased size and hp.

U212 or U214: Submerged patrol speed 4kt constant cruise about 22 days with max 2028nm with 2 cell assembly. If you pay attention to the assembled PEM cells, that can be added according to different missions. The 1248nm is generated by 2 PEM cells stacked with 120kw output with ZERO heat signature. This boat is not designed to travel LONG distance. Its for SELF defense use with coastal or near-sea patrol. But when required, it can be modified for different mission types. That is why U214 is far superior.

Meaning? Its perfect for Japan if Japan is still a "SELF DEFENSE FORCE". 6100nm range is for OFFENSIVE USE. And don't forget that both classes have the same endurance period of about 3 weeks.

Japan has been trying to procure this tech for years.

If you take apart ANY Japanese SSK, its like a jigsaw puzzle. Every component is made from different nations. You got the Swedes, US, Italians and Canadians building 4 main systems. The Soryu is nothing more than a hulk built and assembled in Japan where the main combat, sonar and communications systems are all imports.

And the JMSDF has been trying to procure the "Uboats" from German for years. Once it realized that its impossible to procure due to "foreign interference", it had to go into another direction to compete against the Kilo and Amur. And now, the 039B from China which is an advanced version of the Amur with AIP.

Meaning Japan had to go bigger in SIZE since it COULDN'T go smaller and more efficient.

Soryu: 2900ton surfaced, 4200ton submerged, 65 crew, max submerged range 6100nm (est. based on A26). Max dive 300m. Cost 540m USD.

U214: 1690ton surfaced, 1890ton submerged, 27crew, max submerged range 2024nm (based on 2 PEM cells). Max dive 400m. Cost 330m USD.

The only domestic Japanese system worth mentioning is the propulsion system. Everything else is just a makeshift of components that's put together in the front and back end.

This is how you want to do a comparison, with "devil in the detail".

You never heard of it because only the Swedes had listened to Japan's request. No one else want to share the fuel cell assembly tech coupled with the AIP system.

Japan asked for sure. Silence is the answer. And this didn't start with the Soryu class. This started way before when Harushio class was the thing. Japan got lucky the the Swedes were willing to share the AIP Goteland class.

Don't kid yourself about superior Japanese sub. The silence level, dept dive, sonar and combat systems are all US techs. The only thing worth mentioning again is the propulsion system providing longer range. But it doesn't mean much when the AIP endurance only last 3 weeks time. You still have to surface and makeway. Glass half full.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Don't kid yourself about superior Japanese sub. The silence level, dept dive, sonar and combat systems are all US techs. The only thing worth mentioning again is the propulsion system providing longer range. But it doesn't mean much when the AIP endurance only last 3 weeks time.

We don't need fan boys.

Look the US have not constructed any conventional diesel subs for the past 50 years so they have no idea what the parameters are in constructing one.

As for fuel cells, Toyota is going to introduce a commercial car equipped with fuel cells next year, do you really believe Japan needs help from abroad?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

SB,

Problem is, Japan was the fanboy for German Techs. Not me. I'll take a Virginia class or even a LA class over any conventional SSK. No AIP or fuel cell can circumvent the longevity and efficiency of a nuclear sub. But its not possible for Japan so that point is moot.

If you pay attention to what I wrote, everything I stated is for the BENEFIT of Japan. Not detrimental to Japan. Just because Japan has a impressive domestic SSK program doesn't mean its efficient or even suitable for Japan's defense. The most expensive part of the Naval program are carriers and subs. And based on the political and regional environment, fielding a large and capable yet cost effective SSK fleet is THE TOP PRIORITY. Especially having to go against China and Russia, which both have excellent SSK and Nuclear programs.

I think Toyota is absolute key on helping Japan to achieve its goal on fuel cell tech for military use. IF Toyota can develop something similar to PEM, couple with the superior propulsion systems by Kawasaki marine propulsion, then we've got something substantial. Its really the future for silent warfare. But at this time, the tech is not yet there. The most critical part is assembly or "stacked" cells that can produce certain output without heat signature. Toyota has the cells and assembly but lacks the technology to suppress heat signature which is key in submerged warfare. It'll take a few more years but Japan will get there.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The most critical part is assembly or "stacked" cells that can produce certain output without heat signature

Again ignorance is talking again, first of all nuke reactors generate far more heat then any other energy source. Second whether it be PEM and or any other type of fuel cell it generates heat since it is chemical reaction educed heat. The same amount of heat if you burn hydrogen since it is the same chemical reaction.

One more thing when I mentioned Toyota it was because they have the most efficient and most compact fuel cell system. If it's just about fuel cells, various manufacturers sell them today as home electricity generators called ene-farm a PEM type which generates about 750 - 1000W of electricity and 1000 - 1300W of heat. They been on the consumer market since 2009.

Some people really needs to do some studying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites