The first of the Aurora-class submarines that will replace the aging aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford has arrived in Japan and the first work is being done on the second of the new class.
The ship’s first-of-its-kind launch in the Pacific Ocean from the port of Yokosuka, on the southern coast of Japan, is scheduled to take place at the end of this month, with the ship expected to enter service in the next two years.
The launch is being performed by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT) and the Japanese Navy.
Lockheed is the chief contractor for the ship.
Japan’s Defence Minister and Defence Minister of the Self-Defense Forces have been in talks with the Japanese government on the delivery of the ship and its new submarine.
Japan has been looking to modernize its fleet of aircraft carriers, which are now in service for about 15 years.
The country also plans to replace aging aircraft carriers and their associated ships.LMT and the Navy are working together to build a new ship for the new generation.
The new ship, a Type 063-class ship, will be capable of conducting a wide range of maritime operations, including operations from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean.
The Lockheed Martin-built Aurora-S class submarines are equipped with advanced weapons and anti-submarine warfare systems, including torpedoes and surface-to-air missiles, according to the Japan Times.
The ship’s other weapons include two anti-ship missiles and two anti–submarine torpedoes.
Japan is the first country in the world to order a second generation of aircraft carrier, which will include two Type 065-class ships, according the Times.