Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer

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DDH-181 ひゅうが (12).jpg
Hyūga at sea
Class overview
Name: Hyūga class
Builders: IHI Marine United
Operators:  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Preceded by: Shirane class
Succeeded by: Izumo class
Built: 2006–2011
In commission: 2009–present
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Type: ASW carrier
  • 13,950 tons standard;
  • 19,000 tons full load
Length: 197 m (646 ft)
Beam: 33 m (108 ft)
Draft: 7 m (23 ft)
Speed: more than 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
  • 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:
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 class of helicopter carrier built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Two - Hyūga and Ise - were built; upon completion the class were the largest ships built for the Japanese navy since the Second World War.[1] Hyūga was described in a PBS documentary as the "first Japanese aircraft carrier built since WWII."[2]

The Hyūgas were followed by the larger Izumo class, the first being commissioned in March 2015. The Izumos will replace the Shirane-class helicopter destroyers;[3] the Hyūgas were originally meant to replace the Shiranes.[1]

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

During development, Hyūga and Ise were provisionally named "16DDH" and "18DDH" respectively. The numbers derived from the Japanese calendar, specifically the 16th year and 18th year of the Heisei reign (2004 and 2006), when the provisional name were given.[1]

JS Hyūga with helicopters in operation

Design and specifications[edit]

The Hyūgas are primarily anti-submarine warfare carriers operating SH-60K anti-submarine helicopters. They also have enhanced command-and-control capabilities to serve as flagships.[1] During peacetime, Hyūgas and Ōsumi-class ships could operate together to conduct military operations other than war, peacekeeping and relief operations.[4]

The ships are armed with a 16-cell VLS carrying the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile surface-to-air missile, and Phalanx close in weapon system for self-defense. They are also equipped with the ATECS command system and FCS-3 fire control with active electronically scanned array radar system.[1]

Globalsecurity.org suggests a maximum capacity of 18-24 H-60 class helicopters, or a smaller number of larger helicopters, even though the official complement was reported as three Mitsubishi H-60 and one AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters, or three Mitsubishi H-60 and one Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters.[1] The ships have also operated JGSDF Fuji AH-64D Apache attack helicopters during joint amphibious exercises with the United States.[5] It is speculated that future modifications may allow the operation of VTOL/STOVL fixed-wing aircraft, such as Harriers or F-35 Lightning II.[1][6][7][8][9]

In 2013, the USMC operated V-22 Ospreys on Hyūga during joint amphibious exercises.[10][11]

In 2016, MV-22 Ospreys operated off Hyūga in the participation of relief efforts following the Kumamoto earthquake.[12]

Ships in the class[edit]

Construction of the first ship, JS Hyūga, was started in 2006 and it was launched on 23 August 2007. The second was launched and named JS Ise on 21 August 2009.[13]

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.[14]

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 operations.[15] 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 g "DDH-161 Hyuga / 16DDH "13,500 ton" ton Class". Globalsecurity.org. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  2. ^ PBS, Wide Angle (TV series) : "Japan's About-Face: The military's shifting role in post-war society.", July 8, 2008
  3. ^ Hardy, James (25 March 2015). "Japan commissions helicopter carrier Izumo". janes.com. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ Yoshihara, Toshi; Holmes, James R. (Summer 2006). "Japanese Maritime Thought: If not Mahan, who?". Naval War College Review. United States Naval War College. 59 (3): 39. Archived from the original on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Keen Sword 17: JS Hyuga". Opinion. DVIDS. 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Saunders, Stephen (editor) (2007). Jane's Fighting Ships Vol. 110, 2007-2008. Coulsdon: Jane’s Information Group. p. 401.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Minnick, Wendell. "Japan's New Ship: Destroyer or Carrier?' Defense News (Springfield, Virginia). Archived 2012-07-30 at Archive.today June 30, 2008. p. 13.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Japan Sends Its Troops Into Uncharted Waters". TIME Magazine.
  11. ^ "A Nice Fit for Japan?". TIME Magazine.
  12. ^ "31st Marine Expeditionary Unit returns to Okinawa from relief efforts". United States Pacific Command.
  13. ^ ヘリ搭載大型護衛艦「いせ」が進水 (in Japanese). Asagumo News. 2009-08-27. Archived from the original on 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  14. ^ Hutchison, Harold C. (2007-08-25). "Japan's Secret Aircraft Carriers". Strategypage.com. Retrieved 2008-07-13.; (in Japanese)
  15. ^ 防衛省・自衛隊:海上自衛隊の活動, Ministry of Defense


External links[edit]