Izumo-class helicopter destroyers

5 months ago
Izumo-class helicopter destroyers 0Izumo-class helicopter destroyers 1Izumo-class helicopter destroyers 2
Builder:
Planned:
2
Completed:
2
Commissioned:
Complement:
970
Displacement:
27000 t
Length:
248 m
Beam:
38 m
Propulsion:
  • COGAG
  • 2 * shafts
  • 4 * GE/IHI LM2500IEC gas turbine
Speed:
30 knots
Electronics:
  • ATECS (advanced technology command system)
  • OYQ-12 combat direction system
  • OPS-50 AESA radar
  • OPS-28 surface-search radar
  • OQQ-23 bow sonar
  • NOLQ-3D-1 EW suite
  • Mark 36 SRBOC
  • Anti-torpedo mobile decoy (MOD)
  • Floating acoustic jammer (FAJ)
Armament:
  • 2 * Phalanx CIWS
  • 2 * SeaRAM CIWS
Aircraft:
  • 7 * ASW helicopters and 2 * SAR helicopters
  • 12 * F-35B
  • 28 aircraft maximum

The Izumo-class multi-purpose destroyers or 22DDH are helicopter carriers in service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). In December 2018, the Japanese Cabinet gave approval to convert both ships in the class into aircraft carriers capable of operating several SH-60K/J helicopters. The class is designated as a multi-purpose operation destroyer by the Japanese government due to limits on the Japanese Constitution prohibiting the acquisition of offensive platforms. The ships of this class are currently the largest surface combatants of the JMSDF, taking over the mantle previously held by the Hyūga-class helicopter destroyers. The lead ship was officially unveiled at Yokohama on 6 August 2013.

The ship carries up to 28 aircraft. However, only 7 ASW helicopters and 2 search and rescue (SAR) helicopters are planned for the initial aircraft complement. For other operations, 400 troops and 50 3.5 ton trucks (or equivalent equipment) can also be carried. The flight deck has 5 helicopter landing spots that allow simultaneous landings or take-offs. The ship is equipped with 2 Phalanx CIWS and 2 SeaRAM for its defense. The destroyers of this class were initially intended to replace the two ships of the Shirane class, which were originally scheduled to begin decommissioning in FY2014.

In 2010, Forecast International reported that some design features were intended to support fixed wing aircraft such as the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, although neither the MOD nor the JMSDF have mentioned the possibility of introducing carrier-based fixed-wing aircraft. The ship has neither a «ski-jump» nor a catapult, typical features for launching fixed-wing aircraft. If the Izumo class were to operate fixed-wing aircraft, they would be limited to those capable of STOVL (short take-off, vertical landing) operations.

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

The first ship in the class, Izumo was launched on 6 August 2013. The ship was commissioned on 25 March 2015.

On 18 December 2018, the Japanese Cabinet gave approval to modify the Izumo class into de facto aircraft carriers. The modifications will reinforce the decks of the Izumo-class ships to support the additional weight of F-35B, as well as the heat and forces from the jets during vertical landing. The ruling parties re-designated the Izumo-class ships to multi-purpose operation destroyers. On 30 December 2019, Japanese Ministry of Defense approved the FY2020 budget that would finance the refurbishment of the Izumo class for F-35B operation.

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