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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Maritime Logistics Professional

Kawasaki or Mitsubishi: Japanese Submarine Construction

Posted to Subsea (by on December 21, 2009

It is increasingly likely that in 2010, defense contractors will have to compete to build a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) submarine for the first time ever.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corp. are the only two companies in Japan able to build military submarines, and a possible clash between the two companies over the 2010 submarine contract is attracting widespread industry attention.
According to the Defense Ministry and other sources, under the 1976 National Defense Program Outline, the MSDF retires the oldest of its 16 submarines every year and replaces it with a new one -- with Mitsubishi and Kawasaki taking the order for the new sub in alternating years from 1977 on.

In 2009, however, the Defense Ministry declared that no submarine would be retired that year and no new vessel would be needed. This left Kawasaki without an order that year and an empty dry dock -- where more than a year of the four-year building time takes place -- in 2010, opening the door for competition with Mitsubishi for the 2010 contract.