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SS Oyashio Class

The Oyashio class represents departure form previous submarines of the Maritime Self Defense Force, which have used a tear drop hull form. This latest and most powerful submarine changed to a "leaf coil" hull form. It incorporates not only a different hull form, but unlike conventional type of structure which was a double hull system, the Oyashio has a single hull / double hull compound design.

The design of the Oyashio started by seriously considering the arrangement of the sensor first, after which the entire layout was decided. Previously the sonar was mounted in only the bow, but this new model which designates entire hull as the sensor, equipped with a conformal sonar arranged on the hull side to provide improved detection efficiency. In addition the combat intelligence processing system of new model also improves attack ability. The position of the torpedo tube differs from conventional type, with the bow torpedo tube placement decided after the arrangement of the sensor. The acoustic stealth efficiency of the hull is improved by installing sound-absorbing rubber tiles on the hull. A reduction of the crew is due to advanced new technology, with a smaller crew compared with similar types of submarine in other countries.

The budget of the first unit of the class was 58,176,000,000 Yen, while the second warship cost 50,673,000,000 Yen [that is, each unit cost about half a billion dollars].

Initially at least ten units of this class were planned. According to some reports, by the late 1990s no more than five were planned, but by 2002 five were in service, with at least three more under construction.




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