Japanese Submarine Collides With Bulk Carrier While Surfacing
A Japanese submarine collided with a massive dry bulk carrier as it attempted to surface on Monday off the southwestern coast of Japan, according to Nikkei Asia.
The Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine, which first entered service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) in 2009, was attempting to surface 31 miles off the Cape Ashizuri in southwestern Japan on Monday morning, around 11:00 a.m.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the submarine was on a training exercise while surfacing and tried to avoid the Hong Kong-registered dry bulk carrier Ocean Artemis, at the very last minute, but failed to do so, severely damaging the submarine’s communication systems and diving planes.
Refinitiv shipping data plots Ocean Artemis’ movements in the last 48 hours with the approximate incident area.
“Soryu scraped the hull of the vessel as it was surfacing. It is extremely regrettable the MSDF submarine has collided with a commercial ship,” Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. He added an investigation has already been launched.
Bradley Martin, a RAND Corp analyst and former US Navy captain, analyzed the submarine’s damage via photographs. Due to the damage sustained in the collision, he said the submarine’s capabilities were extremely limited.
“I wouldn’t call the damage minor. The submarine can’t dive and can’t communicate,” Martin told CNN.
Photos taken from the Coast Guard’s Saab 340B maritime patrol aircraft show the badly damaged submarine.
The question remains why didn’t the submarine’s crew use active sonar to detect incoming objects while surfacing? Though one downfall to using active sonar is that it emits signals that other submarines and vessels in the area can detect. However, passive sonar could have also been used while it provides less information about the surrounding area than its active counterpart, a massive dry bulk carrier underway should’ve been detected.
Tue, 02/09/2021 – 21:45