Australia ready to introduce Japanese Soryu-class submarines
Tony Abbott, the Australian prime minister, will this week sign an unprecedented defense pact with Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, to introduce Soryu-class submarines to Australia from Japan, according to Brendan Nicholson, a defense analyst from Canberra in an article for the Australian on July 7.
With the two countries facing China as a common threat in the Asia-Pacific region, Abe began his visit to Australia on July 7 to discuss closer defense ties between Tokyo and Canberra. The pact allows Japanese military personnel to be trained on Australian soil and will see the launch of a joint submarine construction program. Nicholson said it represents Australia's largest ever defense project.
Under Australia's SEA 1000 project, the Royal Australian Navy will replace its seven older Collins-class submarines with 12 Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines. Nicholson said the Soryu-class submarine is is the world's biggest and possibly the best diesel-electric submarine. What interests the Royal Australian Navy most is the Japanese-designed propulsion system which allows the Soryu-class submarines to spend much less time than other conventional submarines at or near the surface as it recharges its batteries.
The Soryu-class is now considered the most suitable option for the Royal Australian Navy to navigate the narrow waterways around Australia.