19000t class destroyer
The 19500t class destroyer (DDH) is a new helicopter carrier class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
The , or JMSDF, is the naval branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, tasked with the naval defense of Japan. It was formed following the dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Navy after World War II....

 (JMSDF). The ships of this class will be the largest surface combatants of the Japanese navy, superseding the Hyūga class helicopter destroyer
Hyuga class helicopter destroyer
The are a type of helicopter carrier being built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force . Two ships of the class were built to replace the two 7,000-ton Haruna-class helicopter destroyers. The new ships are the largest combatant ship operated by Japan since the Imperial Japanese Navy was...

s in terms of size.


The Ministry of Defense (MOD) first announced plans for the new class on November 23, 2009. This ship's primary mission is anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 but peacekeeping and disaster relief operations are also being considered.

The ship will be able to carry up to 14 helicopters but 7 ASW helicopters and 2 SAR helicopters are planned for the initial aircraft complement. For other operations, 400 troops and 50 3.5t trucks (or equivalent equipment) can also be carried. The flight deck has 5 helicopter landing spots which allow simultaneous landing or take-off. 2 Phalanx CIWS
Phalanx CIWS
The Phalanx CIWS is an anti-ship missile defense system. It is a close-in weapon system and was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division...

 and 2 SeaRAM are equipped for its defense. The destroyers of this class were initially intended to replace the two ships of the Shirane class
Shirane class destroyer
The Shirane class destroyers are a class of Japanese destroyer originally built during the late 1970s and still in active service. They are built around a large central hangar which houses up to three helicopters and they are the natural successor of the s...

 originally scheduled to begin decommissioning in FY2014.

Forecast International has reported that some of the design changes with respect to the previous class are intended to support the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft, although neither the MOD or the JMSDF have ever mentioned the possibility of introducing carrier-based aircraft
Carrier-based aircraft
Carrier-based aircraft are military aircraft designed specifically for operations from aircraft carriers. The term is generally applied only to fixed-wing aircraft, as naval helicopters are able to operate from a wider variety of aviation-capable ships. Carrier-based aircraft must be relatively...

. Not to mention that the ongoing technical and budgetary problems being suffered by the latter program may have anyway seriously undermined the prospects of any JSDF procurement of one or more variants of the F-35, at least for the foreseeable future.

The construction of the first ship of the class began in 2011 at an IHI Marine United shipyard in Yokohama. with funding totaling 113.9 billion yen ($1.5 billion) being set aside in the fiscal 2010 budget for this purpose. Launch of the first of class is currently scheduled for 2015.

Current Plans

In September 2011, The Asahi Shinbun reported that the Ministry of Defence is to proceed with a budget request calling for funds for the construction of the planned second unit in the class. This will come under the Defense Ministry's Mid-Term Defense Program FY2011-2015.

External links

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