Japan’s military manufacturing increasing with US$20 billion deal for submarines with Australia

Sōryū-class submarine (16SS)

Sōryū-class submarine (16SS)

What is Australia going to do with submarines manufactured by the Japanese in a US$20 billion deal if this contract is approved? Torpedo Chinese ships? Japan continues to move towards the manufacture and sale of military hardware to bolster its domestic and foreign manufacturing interests. Most people do not actually realize just how big Japan’s military production capacity is or what it could be if needed. When I toured the huge Nissan manufacturing plant on the Kanto Plain, the manager conducting the tour told me the plant could be converted to tank production very quickly. If this deal goes through it will be one of the world’s largest defense contracts with an ostensibly pacifist country as Japan portrays itself. That is about to end. Japan’s navy has 8 Sōryū-class submarines (16SS) manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Ship Building Corporation with 3 more under construction in Kobe for a total of 11 submarines of this class planned for commissioning. Make note of the fact that the Sōryū-class submarine is an attack submarine. And looking at the specifications this sub is equipped with some serious shit (for minimal cavitation)  including Toshiba bearings which makes the sub almost impossible to hear underwater.

Japan's reemerging naval power

Japan’s reemerging naval power

As of 2014, the JMSDF (Japanese Military Self-Defense Forces) operates a total of 107 vessels (excluding minor auxiliary vessels), including four helicopter destroyers (or helicopter carriers), 26 destroyers, 11 small destroyers (or frigates), 6 destroyer escorts (or corvettes), 17 attack submarines (imagine Japan having 17 attack submarines?), 27 mine countermeasure vessels, 6 patrol vessels, 3 landing ship tanks, 8 training vessels and a fleet (how many would a fleet be?) of various auxiliary ships. That is a fleet with more than 100 naval assets under Japan’s reemerging naval power. These numbers will be increasing in the coming years. Self-defense? Looks to me that with 17 attack subs with more planned for construction Japan could pretty much annihilate any vessel approaching from  international waters.

Over the next four years, it is forecast that “Japan will invest US$240 billion in the defense sector, about a third more than Australia’s anticipated cumulative spend for that period.” This investment (investing in military hardware? For whose ultimate benefit?) will be made in a political climate that is opening the door to increased military exports. And it’s not just submarines that will be discussed in terms of Japanese international military collaboration – “similar discussions with other nations are already underway.”  Japan preparing to further militarize the world as if we don’t have enough militarization already.

Source: The Guardian

Japan ready to build submarines in Australia and train local engineers

Frontrunner bidder Japan offers to build Soryu vessels entirely at Australian shipyards in an effort to secure $20bn defence contract

September 30, 2015

Japan has confirmed it is ready to build Australia’s submarines entirely at local shipyards, after comments by the ambassador in Canberra to the same effect.

The director general for acquisition reform at the defence ministry, Masaaki Ishikawa, said on Tuesday that Tokyo was willing to train hundreds of Australian engineers in Japan’s submarine-manufacturing hub of Kobe as well as in Australia as part of its offer for the contract.

It is the first time an official directly involved in the bid has said Japan was willing to build the stealth submarines entirely in Australia. Canberra is expected to order between eight and 12 vessels.

“Whatever option Australia chooses we are ready to provide the necessary technology transfers and skills,” Ishikawa said. “We will optimise the role of Australian industry.”

Last week the ambassador, Sumio Kasaka, said: “We will go along with whatever decision the Australian government makes.”

Japan had been the frontrunner to replace Australia’s ageing Collins-class submarines with a modified off-the-shelf version of its 4000-tonne Soryu-class vessel until Tony Abbott opened up the bidding in February under pressure from the opposition and some of his MPs.

While Japan sought to stress the capabilities of its submarines, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and the French shipbuilder DCNS said they would make a full build in Australia part of their offers.