DSV Shinkai

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BuilderKawasaki Heavy Industries Kobe shipyard
Laid down1968
Sponsored byJapan Coast Guard
Maiden voyage1970
In service1970
Out of service1976
StatusPreserved at Kure Maritime Museum
General characteristics [1]
TypeDeep-submergence vehicle
Tonnage100 tons (Dry weight)
Length15.3 m (50 ft)
Beam5.5 m (18 ft)
Draft4.0 m (13.1 ft)
Installed power50 100 v, 2,000 amp-hour, externally mounted lead-acid batteries
  • 1 main 11 kW electric, 680—3,200 rpm, reversible for horizontal
  • 2 port/starboard 2.2 kW electric, reversible, 360° rotating for vertical
  • 1.5 knots (2.8 km/h; 1.7 mph) 10 hours
  • 3.5 knots (6.5 km/h; 4.0 mph) 3 hours
Endurance192 man hours maximum life support
Test depth
  • 600 m (2,000 ft)
  • 1,500 m (4,900 ft) (Collapse depth)
  • 2 Pilots
  • 2 Observers
NotesUnderwater telephone (UQC), radio, gyrocompass, speed indicator, depth gauge, echosounder, seismic profiling, obstacle avoidance sonar, transponder, stereo camera, TV, salinometer, water and bottom samplers, water temperature and light sensors, current meter, magnetic, gravity and sound speed measurements, and radiometer. One manipulator arm.
Rear view of Shinkai

The Shinkai (しんかい) is a crewed research submersible that can dive up to a depth of 600 m. It was completed in 1970, and until 1981 it had the greatest depth range of any crewed research vehicle in Japan. The Shinkai is owned and run by the Japan Coast Guard and it is launched from the support vessel Otomemaru (乙女丸).

Two 4.0 m (13.1 ft) diameter, 3.6 cm (1.4 in) thick high-strength low-alloy steel pressure hulls connected by a 1.45 m (4.8 ft) tunnel. Pilots and observers are housed in the forward hull with mechanical and power supplies in aft hull. A 1.7 m (5.6 ft) escape sphere was mounted on the forward hull. Access was through four 500 mm (20 in) hatches with one 600 mm (24 in) emergency escape hatch. Five view ports with 90° viewing angle in the forward sphere, three 120 mm (4.7 in) inside diameter for forward viewing and one 50 mm (2.0 in) inside diameter on each side.[1]

See also[edit]

  • DSV Shinkai 2000 – Japanese crewed research submersible
  • DSV Shinkai 6500 – Japanese crewed research submersible that can dive up to a depth of 6,500 metres
  • Archimède – French Navy bathyscaphe
  • FNRS-2 – First bathyscaphe
  • FNRS-3 – Bathyscaphe of the French Navy
  • Bathyscaphe – Free-diving self-propelled deep-sea submersible
  • Deepsea Challenger – Bathyscaphe designed to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep


  1. ^ a b Busby, R. Frank (1976). Manned Submersibles. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy. pp. 202–203. Retrieved 28 June 2020.

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