Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer

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Hyūga at sea in 2010
Class overview
Name: Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer
Builders: IHI Marine United
Operators:  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Preceded by: Shirane-class destroyer
Succeeded by: Izumo-class helicopter destroyer
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Type: ASW carrier
Displacement: 13,950 tons standard;
19,000 tons full load
Length: 197 m (646 ft)
Beam: 33 m (108 ft)
Draft: 7 m (23 ft)
Propulsion: COGAG,4 Ishikawajima Harima/General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines
Two shafts 5-bladed CP props
100,000 shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: more than 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 360 (Hyūga)
371 (Ise)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • ATECS (advanced technology command system)
    • OYQ-10 advanced combat direction system
    • FCS-3 AAW system
    • OQQ-21 ASW system
    • NOLQ-3C EW system
    • OPS-20C surface search radar
Aircraft carried: Up to 18. Usual air wing is 3 × SH-60K, 1 × MCH-101
Aviation facilities: Flight deck and enclosed hangar

The Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer (ひゅうが型護衛艦 Hyūga-gata-goei-kan ?) is a type of helicopter carrier built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).[1][2] 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 The new ships are the largest combatant ships operated by Japan since the Imperial Japanese Navy was superseded by the JMSDF.[1] The first ship in the class, Hyūga, was commissioned on March 18, 2009 and stationed in Yokosuka, near Tokyo.[3] The second ship, Ise, went into service on March 16, 2011 and is stationed at Kure.

The Hyūga-class' specifications are comparable to light aircraft carriers, such as Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi and Spanish Príncipe de Asturias.[4] 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.

The Hyūga '​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 reign (2004 and 2006), when the provisional title was given.[1]

Design and specifications[edit]

The ships' primary mission is to function as an anti-submarine warfare carrier with her SH-60K anti-submarine helicopters. They also have enhanced command-and-control capabilities, allowing them to serve as flagships for the JMSDF.[1] During peacetime operations, or “military operations other than war” (MOOTW), the ships join the Ōsumi-class ships for peacekeeping and relief operations, as well as the “diverse situations” Japan foresees confronting on the high seas."[5]

The ships are able to carry up to 18 helicopters,[6] relying on a 16-cell VLS carrying the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile surface-to-air missile, along with the Phalanx close in weapon system, for self-defense. They are also equipped with the ATECS command system and FCS-3 fire control with OPS-50 active electronically scanned array radar system.[1]

Japan is also building a new Izumo-class, which is larger than the Hyūga class. The new Izumo-class will replace the Shirane-class helicopter destroyer, which was scheduled to be decommissioned in FY2014.[7][8]

It has been speculated that the Hyūga-class ships would be outfitted with VTOL/STOVL fixed-wing aircraft, such as Harriers or F-35 Lightning II.[1][9][10][11][12] According to a PBS documentary, JS Hyūga is the "first Japanese aircraft carrier built since WWII."[13]

In 2013, USMC V-22 Ospreys practiced operations on the Hyūga.[14][15]

Ships in the class[edit]

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.[16]

Name Pennant no. Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Fate
Hyūga DDH-181 IHI Marine United, Yokohama 11 May 2006 23 August 2007 18 March 2009 Active in service
Ise DDH-182 30 May 2008 21 August 2009 16 March 2011 Active in service

Hyūga was named after Hyūga Province (日向国 Hyūga no kuni?) (present-day Miyazaki Prefecture) on the east coast of Kyūshū, and Ise after Ise Province (伊勢国 Ise no kuni?) (present-day Mie Prefecture). They inherited the names of the Ise-class battleships Hyūga and Ise of the Imperial Japanese Navy. These two ships had been built during World War I and served in World War II. Following the Battle of Midway, the Hyūga 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 dive-bombers and Aichi E16A seaplanes.[4]

In November 2009, Hyūga participated in Annualex 21G joint naval exercise with USS George Washington and other USN and JMSDF ships to maintain the interoperability between the two navies.[citation needed]

On 11 March 2011, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami struck the northeast part of Japan. Hyūga immediately moved to off the coast of Miyagi prefecture and started search and rescue operation.[17] Ise, which went into service on 16 March, also will join aid delivery operation for refuge shelters.

On 8 November 2013, Super-Typhoon Haiyan crossed the Visayas, Philippines. Ise joined the relief operation, using its helicopters to provide relief supplies to remote areas cut off by the storm.



  1. ^ a b c d e f "16DDH "13,500 ton" ton Class". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  2. ^ "Hyuga class (CVHG) (Japan), Helicopter Destroyers". Jane's Fighting Ships (online extract). Jane's Information Group. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-07-13. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Japan gets helicopter carrier". StraitsTimes.com. March 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Hutchison, Harold C. (2007-08-25). "Japan's Secret Aircraft Carriers". Strategypage.com. Retrieved 2008-07-13. ; (Japanese) JMSDF's new carrier, launch video.
  5. ^ [Yoshihara & Holmes, Summer 2006]
  6. ^ http://www.jeffhead.com/worldwideaircraftcarriers/16ddh.htm
  7. ^ Demetriou, Danielle (2009-11-23). "Japan to build fleet's biggest helicopter destroyer to fend off China". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  8. ^ "Japan to Build New Helicopter Destroyer". 
  9. ^ Yong-weon, Yu (2007-08-27). "After 40 Years, Japan Achieves Warship Dream". Columns (Chosun Ilbo). Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  10. ^ Saunders, Stephen (editor) (2007). Jane's Fighting Ships Vol. 110, 2007-2008. Coulsdon: Jane’s Information Group. p. 401. 
  11. ^ Minnick, Wendell. "Japan's New Ship: Destroyer or Carrier?' Defense News (Springfield, Virginia). June 30, 2008. p. 13.
  12. ^ Herman, Arthur (2007-09-09). "Pacific armadas: growing Far East navies mean new challenges for U.S.". Opinion (New York Post). Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  13. ^ PBS, Wide Angle (TV series) : "Japan's About-Face: The military's shifting role in post-war society.", July 8, 2008; Teslik, Lee Hudson. "Backgrounder; Japan and Its Military," Council on Foreign Relations. April 13, 2006; Hsiao, Russell. "China navy floats three-carrier plan," Asia Times (Hong Kong). January 8, 2008; "Meet Japan's New Destroyer - Updated," Information Dissemination (blog). August 23, 2007.
  14. ^ "Japan Sends Its Troops Into Uncharted Waters."
  15. ^ "A Nice Fit for Japan?"
  16. ^ ヘリ搭載大型護衛艦「いせ」が進水 (in Japanese). Asagumo News. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  17. ^ 防衛省・自衛隊:海上自衛隊の活動, Ministry of Defense


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