Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer

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Hyūga at sea in 2010
Class overview
Name: Hyūga class
Builders: IHI Marine United
Operators:  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Preceded by: Shirane class
Succeeded by: Izumo class
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: 3 × SH-60K, 1 × MCH-101
18 aircraft maximum
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] On 22 August 2007, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force launched JS Hyūga, a new large, flat deck vessel which had been laid down in May 2006. The vessel was then commissioned into the JMSDF on 18 March 2009.

On 21 August 2009, the JMSDF launched the second in class, JDS Ise, commissioned in 2011. These vessels, which were called the 16DDH project, have a large, flat-deck, and has been designated as a DDH, or helicopter carrying destroyer. The Japanese built two vessels to replace two of the current, traditional DDH vessels in two of the JMSDF escort flotillas. Since building the Hyūga class, the JMSDF ordered two larger vessels, the Izumo class, and the first of these much larger vessels was launched on 6 August 2013. The Japanese currently list the carrying capabilitiy of the Hyūga-class vessels as 4-11 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters and/or large Chinook helicopters. Clearly, if capable of carrying up to 11 Chinooks, then these carriers are capable of operating more ASW helicopters, probably 18-24. The second ship, JS Ise, went into service on 16 March 2011 and is stationed at Kure.[1]

The specifications of the Hyūga class are comparable to light aircraft carriers, such as Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi and Spanish Príncipe de Asturias.[2] 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.

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]

JDS Hyūga with helicopters in operation

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.[3] 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."[4]

The ships are able to carry up to 18 H-60 class helicopters, or a lesser number of larger 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.[5]

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.[6][7]

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.[3][8][9][10][11] According to a PBS documentary, JS Hyūga is the "first Japanese aircraft carrier built since WWII."[12]

In 2013, USMC V-22 Ospreys practiced operations on Hyūga.[13][14]

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.[15]

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, 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.[2]

In November 2009, Hyūga participated in Annualex 21G joint naval exercise with the US aircraft carrier 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.[16] 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 "HYUGA CLASS". jeffhead.com. 
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b "16DDH "13,500 ton" ton Class". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  4. ^ [Yoshihara & Holmes, Summer 2006]
  5. ^ "HYUGA CLASS". jeffhead.com. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "Japan to Build New Helicopter Destroyer". 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Saunders, Stephen (editor) (2007). Jane's Fighting Ships Vol. 110, 2007-2008. Coulsdon: Jane’s Information Group. p. 401. 
  10. ^ Minnick, Wendell. "Japan's New Ship: Destroyer or Carrier?' Defense News (Springfield, Virginia). June 30, 2008. p. 13.
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Japan Sends Its Troops Into Uncharted Waters."
  14. ^ "A Nice Fit for Japan?"
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ 防衛省・自衛隊:海上自衛隊の活動, Ministry of Defense


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