JS Izumo

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JS Izumo(DDH-183)seen from the sky 10-03-2021.jpg
JS Izumo (DDH-183) with new markings and heat resistance coating on the flight deck, 3 October 2021
History
Japan
Name
  • Izumo
  • (いずも)
NamesakeIzumo Province
Ordered2010
BuilderIHI Marine United
Laid down27 January 2012
Launched6 August 2013
Commissioned25 March 2015
Identification
StatusIn active service
BadgeIzumo logo.png
General characteristics
Class and type Izumo-class multi-purpose operation destroyer
Displacement
  • 19,500 long tons (19,800 t) standard;
  • 27,000 long tons (27,000 t) full load
Length248 m (813 ft 8 in)
Beam38 m (124 ft 8 in)
Draft7.5 m (24 ft 7 in)
Propulsion
SpeedMore than 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h)
Complement970 including crew and troops[1]
Sensors and
processing systems
  • OYQ-12 combat direction system
  • FCS-3 fire control system
  • OPS-50 AESA radar
  • OPS-28 surface-search radar
  • OQQ-23 bow sonar
Electronic warfare
& decoys
  • NOLQ-3D-1 EW suite
  • Mark 36 SRBOC
  • Anti-torpedo mobile decoy (MOD)
  • Floating acoustic jammer (FAJ)
Armament
Aircraft carried
  • 7 ASW helicopters and 2 SAR helicopters[1]
  • 28 aircraft maximum[2]

JS Izumo (DDH-183) is a helicopter carrier which, as of 2022, is being converted into a light aircraft carrier. Officially classified as a multi-purpose operation destroyer, she is the lead ship in the Izumo class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). She is the second warship to be named for Izumo Province, with the previous ship being the armored cruiser Izumo (1898).

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party announced in May 2018 that it favours converting Izumo to operate fixed-wing aircraft.[3] The conversion was confirmed in December 2018 when Japan announced the change of its defense guidelines. Upon the completion of the process, Izumo will be the first Japanese naval vessel to operate fixed-wing aircraft since World War II.[4]

Design and construction[edit]

The construction of the first ship of the Izumo class began in 2011 at an IHI Marine United shipyard in Yokohama,[5] with funding totalling 113.9 billion yen ($1.5 billion) being set aside in the fiscal 2010 budget for this purpose. The destroyers of this class were initially intended to replace the two ships of the Shirane class, which were originally scheduled to begin decommissioning in FY2014.[6]

Izumo, the largest Japanese naval vessel since World War II, was laid down on 27 January 2012 and launched on 6 August 2013.[7][8] The ship began sea trials on 29 September 2014.[9] The ship was commissioned on 25 March 2015.[10]

The ship is as large as a Japanese carrier of Second World War-era.[11] Izumo is called a destroyer because the Japanese constitution forbids the acquisition of offensive weapons, but the vessel allows Japan to project military power well beyond its territorial waters.[11]

Characteristics[edit]

Aircraft carried[edit]

In support of the first ever F-35B Lightning II operations aboard a Japanese vessel, a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 242 conducts a vertical landing aboard Izumo off the coast of Japan, on 3 October 2021.
JS Izumo
HMS Queen Elizabeth (middle right) and Izumo (front right) during joint training (September 2021)

The ship can carry up to 28 aircraft,[2] or 14 larger aircraft.[12] Only seven ASW helicopters and two SAR helicopters are planned for the initial aircraft complement. For other operations, 400 troops and 50 3.5-ton trucks (or equivalent equipment) can also be carried. The flight deck has five helicopter landing spots that allow simultaneous landings and take-offs.

In 2010, Forecast International reported that some design features were intended to support fixed-wing aircraft such as the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II;[13] although neither the Ministry of Defense nor the JMSDF have mentioned the possibility of introducing fixed-wing aircraft. The ship has neither a "ski-jump" nor a catapult, typical features for launching fixed-wing aircraft.[14] If Izumo-class ships were to operate fixed-wing aircraft, they would be limited to STOVL (short take-off, vertical landing) aircraft. Japan has purchased the conventional version of the Lightning II (the F-35A) but may buy the STOVL version (the F-35B) which could be operated from a modified Izumo-class ship.[15] In December 2018, it was announced that the Japanese government would change its defense guidelines and purchase about 40 F-35B fighters to operate them from both Izumo and her sister ship Kaga.[4]

Air defense[edit]

The ship is equipped with two Phalanx CIWS and two SeaRAM for her defense.

Operational history[edit]

Commissioned at Yokosuka port in Japan in March 2015, Izumo became operational in time to take part in a major August 2015 disaster drill conducted in Tokyo, alongside the Japan Coast Guard's large patrol vessel Izu. The two vessels acted as casualty receiving and triage stations during the exercise.[16]

In May 2017 Izumo was deployed to escort USNS Richard E. Byrd, a US supply vessel, to the area off Shikoku. Richard E. Byrd's mission was to refuel another US warship that was defending against North Korean missiles. This was the first time a Japanese vessel was deployed to escort a US ship since security legislation was enacted in March 2016. A small protest took place at Yokosuka after Izumo's departure, under the belief that the deployment of an aircraft carrier was a violation of Japan's defense-only policy.[17][18] The destroyer Sazanami also joined the mission.[19]

In 2020, Izumo began the conversion to operate F-35B fighter aircraft.[20] Conversion works were to proceed in two stages, with the first to strengthen the heat resistance of the deck and install power supply equipment to enable the departure and arrival of the F-35B. The renovation work to change the bow shape to a quadrangle for the safe operation of the F-35B and the maintenance of the interior compartments are scheduled to be carried out in the second stage, starting from the end of 2024. No plans exist to install a catapult or a sloping runway.[21]

In September 2021, JS Izumo joined British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and other vessels for exercises in the Pacific.[22]

In early October of that year, United States Marine Corps F-35B fighters operated off the Izumo for the first time.[23]

On 31 May 2022, the JMSDF announced that the Izumo, the Takanami-class destroyer JS Takanami (DD-110) and the Murasame-class destroyer JS Kirisame (DD104) will be deployed to RIMPAC 2022.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "IHIMU、防衛省から平成22年度計画ヘリコプター搭載護衛艦を受注". Nikkei Shimbun. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b "WorldWideAircraftCarriers.com - 22DDH Class Page". Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  3. ^ FUJIWARA, SHINICHI. "LDP calls for scrapping 1% cap on Japan's defense budget" (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Lockie, Alex. "Japan unveiled new plans for an F-35 aircraft carrier — and it's a Chinese navy killer". Business Insider. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  5. ^ "IHI、防衛省からヘリコプター搭載護衛艦を800億円で受注". Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (in Japanese). 1 April 2011. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014.
  6. ^ Ministry of Defense. "平成21年度政策評価書(事前の事業評価)" (PDF). Mod.go.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  7. ^ "国内最大のヘリコプター搭載護衛艦の起工式を開催 (Ground-breaking ceremony of the nation's largest helicopter carriers held)". Ihi.co.jp (in Japanese). 27 January 2012. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Japan unveils new carrier-like warship, largest in navy since WWII". Fox News. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Japan puts helicopter carrier Izumo on sea trials". Jane's Information Group. Archived from the original on 1 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Japan Commissions Largest-Ever Helicopter Carrier". Aviation Today. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  11. ^ a b Kelly, Tim; Kubo, Nobuhiro (13 March 2017). "Japan plans to send largest warship to South China Sea, sources say". Reuters.com. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  12. ^ Hardy, James (25 March 2015). "Japan commissions helicopter carrier Izumo". Janes.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  13. ^ Forecast International (21 June 2010). "Details of New Japanese 'Helicopter Destroyer'". Defensetalk.
  14. ^ Holm, Erik. "Japan launches biggest warship since WW2" (in Danish). Ingeniøren, 12 August 2013. Accessed: 12 August 2013.
  15. ^ Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the "Offensive" Rubicon?Newpacificinstitute.com, 13 August 2013. Archived 22 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Japan helicopter carrier conducts operation to protect US ships". Nikkei. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  18. ^ Hlvac, Tyler (1 May 2017). "Japanese helicopter destroyer to escort Navy ship on supply mission". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  19. ^ "SDF completes 1st US warship escort mission". Jiji press. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  20. ^ Takahashi, Kosuke. "Japan begins refitting first of two Izumo-class carriers to support F-35B operations". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  21. ^ "護衛艦「かが」、「いずも」に続き空母へ F35B搭載の改修費231億円要求――スキージャンプ設置せず(高橋浩祐) - Yahoo!ニュース". Yahoo!ニュース 個人 (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  22. ^ Cotterill, Tom (10 September 2021). "Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth woos the Japanese as she joins major military drill in the Pacific". The News, Portsmouth. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  23. ^ Mahadzir, Dzirhan (5 October 2021). "Japan's Largest Warship Launches U.S. Marine F-35s; First Fighters to Fly from Japanese Ship Since WWII". United States Naval Institute. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  24. ^ Inaba, Yoshihiro (1 June 2022). "Japan sending its largest naval vessel to RIMPAC". Navalnews.com. Retrieved 4 June 2022.

External links[edit]