The Haruna-class destroyer was a destroyer class built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in the early 1970s. These helicopter carrying destroyers (DDH) are built around a large central hangar which houses up to three helicopters.
Originally, the Coastal Safety Force and its successor, the JMSDF, had intended to enable its fleet aviation operating capability. In 1960, the Defense Agency planned to construct one helicopter carrier (CVH) with the Second Defense Build-up Plan, but this project was shelved and finally cancelled because the JMSDF changed their plan to dispersing its fleet aviation assets among destroyers, not concentrating in few helicopter carrier. The Japanese DDH was planned to be a hub with this dispersing fleet aviation concept with their logistics service capability for aircraft.
The rear-half of the superstructure was helicopter hangar, and the afterdeck was the helicopter deck with the beartrap system. To operate large HSS-2 ASW helicopters safely, the full length of the helicopter deck reached 50 meters.
US Navy 070318-N-5961C-262 Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Haruna (DDH-141), USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) and USS Russell (DDG-59) steam in formation during a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) between the Ronald Reagan C
JMSDF ship Haruna (DDH-141)
JDS Hiei in Pearl Harbor
Hiei underway in the Pacific with Ashigara and USS Curtis Wilbur, November 2009