Hyuga class helicopter destroyer

The are a type of helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier is a term for an aircraft carrier whose primary purpose is to operate helicopters. The term is sometimes used for both ASW carriers and amphibious assault ships....

  being built for 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). Two ships of the class were built to replace the two 7,000-ton Haruna-class helicopter destroyers
Haruna class destroyer
The Haruna class destroyers are a class of Japanese destroyer originally built during the early 1970s. These helicopter carrying destroyers are built around a large central hangar which houses up to three helicopters. The ships were upgraded with Sea Sparrow launchers, Phalanx CIWS systems and...

. The new ships are the largest combatant ship operated by Japan since the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 was superseded by the JMSDF. The first ship in the class, Hyūga, was commissioned on March 18, 2009 and stationed in Yokosuka, near Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. The second ship Ise
JDS Ise (DDH-182)
JDS Ise is a Hyūga class helicopter destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force . It is the second ship to be named Ise, the first being the Imperial Japanese Navy World War II era battleship Ise....

 went into service on March 16, 2011 and will be stationed in Kure
Kure can refer to:*KURE, a radio station in Ames, Iowa*Kure Software Koubou, Japanese video game development company*Kure, Hiroshima , a city in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan**Kure Line, a rail line in the city...


The Hyūga-class' specifications are comparable to light aircraft carriers
Light aircraft carrier
A light aircraft carrier is an aircraft carrier that is smaller than the standard carriers of a navy. The precise definition of the type varies by country; light carriers typically have a complement of aircraft only ½ to ⅔ the size of a full-sized or "fleet" carrier.-History:In World War II, the...

, such as Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi, Spanish
Spanish Navy
The Spanish Navy is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces, one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path...

 Principe de Asturias and Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

's Invincible-class carriers
Invincible class aircraft carrier
The Invincible class is a class of light aircraft carrier operated by the British Royal Navy. Three ships were constructed, , and . The vessels were built as aviation-capable anti-submarine warfare platforms to counter the Cold War North Atlantic Soviet submarine threat, and initially embarked...

. Under the JMSDF's naming conventions, the ships are called Goei-kan (護衛艦, lit. escort ship) in Japanese and destroyer in English, as same as all the other combatant ships of JMSDF.

According to a PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 documentary, JS Hyūga is the "first Japanese aircraft carrier built since WWII."

The Hyuga 's code-name (16DDH) and Ise 's code-name (18DDH) derive from the Japanese calendar, specifically the 16th year and 18th year of the Heisei
is the current era name in Japan. The Heisei era started on 8 January 1989, the first day after the death of the reigning Emperor, Hirohito. His son, Akihito, succeeded to the throne...

 reign (2004 and 2006), when the provisional title was given.

Design and specifications

The ships' primary mission is to function as an anti-submarine warfare carrier
Anti-submarine warfare carrier
An ASW carrier is a type of small aircraft carrier whose primary role is to hunt and destroy submarines...

 with her SH-60K anti-submarine helicopters. They also have enhanced command-and-control capabilities, allowing them to serve as flagships for the JMSDF. During peacetime operations, or “military operations other than war” (MOOTW), the ships join the Osumi-class ships for peacekeeping and relief operations, as well as the “diverse situations” Japan foresees confronting on the high seas."

The ships are able to carry up to eleven helicopters, relying on a 16-cell VLS carrying the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

, along with the Phalanx
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...

 close in weapon system, for self-defense. They are also equipped with the ATECS command system and FCS-3 phased-array radar system.

Japan plans to build a new 22DDH helicopter carrier
19000t class destroyer
The 19500t class destroyer is a new helicopter carrier class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force . The ships of this class will be the largest surface combatants of the Japanese navy, superseding the Hyūga class helicopter destroyers in terms of size.-Construction:The Ministry of Defense ...

, which is larger than the Hyūga class. The new 22DDH will replace 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...

 helicopter destroyer, which was scheduled to be decommissioned in FY2014.

Its been speculated that the Hyūga class ships would be outfitted with VTOL
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft is one that can hover, take off and land vertically. This classification includes fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors...

STOVL is an acronym for short take off and vertical landing.This is the ability of some aircraft to take off from a short runway or take off vertically if it does not have a very heavy payload and land vertically...

 fixed-wing aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

s, such as Harrier
Harrier Jump Jet
The Harrier, informally referred to as the Jump Jet, is a family of British-designed military jet aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations...

s or F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...


Ships in the class

Construction of the first ship Hyūga was started in 2006 and it was launched on 23 August 2007. The second was launched and named Ise on 21 August 2009.
Pennant no. Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDH-181 Hyūga
JDS Hyūga (DDH-181)
JDS Hyūga is a Hyūga class helicopter destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force .The ship was built by IHI Marine United and commissioned into service on 18 March 2009.-Service:...

11 May 2006 23 August 2007 18 March 2009 Yokosuka
DDH-182 Ise
JDS Ise (DDH-182)
JDS Ise is a Hyūga class helicopter destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force . It is the second ship to be named Ise, the first being the Imperial Japanese Navy World War II era battleship Ise....

30 May 2008 21 August 2009 16 March 2011 Kure

Hyūga was named after (present-day Miyazaki Prefecture
Miyazaki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Miyazaki.- History :Historically, after the Meiji Restoration, Hyūga Province was renamed Miyazaki Prefecture....

) on the east coast of Kyūshū
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

, and Ise after after (present-day Mie Prefecture
Mie Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan which is part of the Kansai regions on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Tsu.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, Mie prefecture was known as Ise Province and Iga Province....

). They inhrited the names of the Ise-class
Ise class battleship
Originally intended as sister ships of the preceding Fusō class, the of the Imperial Japanese Navy were considered sufficiently different to warrant separate classification....

A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

Japanese battleship Hyuga
Hyūga , named for Hyūga Province in Kyūshū, was an of the Imperial Japanese Navy laid down by Mitsubishi on 6 May 1915, launched on 27 January 1917 and completed on 30 April 1918. She was initially designed as the fourth ship of the , but was heavily redesigned to fix shortcomings...

 and Ise
Japanese battleship Ise
, was the lead ship of the two-vessel Ise-class battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, which saw combat service during the Pacific War. Ise was named after Ise Province, one of the traditional provinces of Japan, now part of Mie Prefecture....

 of the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

. These two ships had been built during the World War I and served in World War II. Following the Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated...

, the Hyuga and Ise were converted into a hybrid battleship/aircraft carriers in 1943 with the replacement of the aft gun turrets and barbettes by a small flight deck and hangar deck with which they could launch a squadron of Yokosuka D4Y
Yokosuka D4Y
The D4Y Navy Type 2 Carrier Dive bomber was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Its Allied reporting name was "Judy". The D4Y was one of the fastest dive-bombers of the war, and only the delays in its development hindered its service, while its predecessor, the slower fixed gear Aichi D3A...

 dive-bombers and Aichi E16A
Aichi E16A
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Francillon, Ph.D., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-30251-6....


In November 2009, Hyūga participated in Annualex 21G joint naval exercise with USS George Washington (CVN-73)
USS George Washington (CVN-73)
USS George Washington is an American nuclear-powered supercarrier, the sixth ship in the Nimitz class and the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, the first President of the United States...

 and other USN and JMSDF ships to maintain the interoperability between the two navies.

On 11 March, 2011, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately east...

 struck the northeast part of Japan. Hyūga immediately moved to off the coast of Miyagi prefecture
Miyagi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island. The capital is Sendai.- History :Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshu, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Emishi, and became the...

 and started search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

operation. Ise, which went into service on 16 March, also will join aid delivery operation for refuge shelters.

External links

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