Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer
Hyūga at sea in 2010
|Name:||Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer|
|Builders:||IHI Marine United|
|Operators:||Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force|
|Preceded by:||Haruna-class destroyer|
|Succeeded by:||Izumo-class destroyer|
|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)|
|Aircraft carried:||Up to 11. 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). 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 The new ships are the largest combatant ship operated by Japan since the Imperial Japanese Navy was superseded by the JMSDF. The first ship in the class, Hyūga, was commissioned on March 18, 2009 and stationed in Yokosuka, near Tokyo. 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. 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.
Design and specifications
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. 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."
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, 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.
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.
It has been speculated that the Hyūga-class ships would be outfitted with VTOL/STOVL fixed-wing aircrafts, such as Harriers or F-35 Lightning II. According to a PBS documentary, JS Hyūga is the "first Japanese aircraft carrier built since WWII."
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.
|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.
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.
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. 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.
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