Japan will dispatch a high-tech submarine to Sydney next month as it pulls out all the stops to win the contract to help build the replacement to Australia’s Collins Class fleet.
The ABC has learnt the Soryu Class submarine will be part of a joint training exercise with the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.
According to an itinerary of the April visit obtained by the ABC’s AM radio program, the Japanese “dispatched force” will include two destroyers and two helicopters as well as the Soryu submarine JS Hakuryu.
Dr Malcolm Davis from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said it was a significant development in the three-way competition to build Australia’s new submarine fleet.
“By sending a Soryu Class submarine down to work with our Navy, they’re clearly very confident that the Soryu will impress and when you look at what they’re doing — they’re doing anti-submarine warfare exercises — they’re doing tactical manoeuvring, communications, PHOTEX [photographic exercises] and so forth,” Dr Davis told AM.
“Clearly the goal here is to demonstrate how effective the Soryu is in terms of tracking and evading being tracked by our ships.”
About 430 Japanese personnel are expected to take part and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force said the training would “foster collaboration” and “improve tactical skills”.