Tsurugi-class patrol vessel

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Japan Coast Guard Patrol Vessel Small PS202 Hotaka.jpg
Hotaka (PS-202)
Class overview
Name: Tsurugi class
Builders: Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding
Operators: Ensign of the Japanese Coast Guard.svg Japan Coast Guard
Built: 2000–2005
In commission: 2001–Present
Planned: 15
Completed: 6
Cancelled: 9
Active: 6
General characteristics
Type: Patrol vessels, small (PS)
Tonnage: 220 GT
Length: 50.0 m (164.0 ft)
Beam: 8.0 m (26.2 ft)
Depth: 4 m (13 ft)
Speed: 50+ knots
Armament: 1 × JM61 20mm gun with RFS

The Tsurugi-class (Japanese: つるぎ型巡視船) is a class of small patrol vessel of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). The development of this class was one of the earliest attempts of the JCG to deal with spy boats from North Korea. In March 1999, the JCG tried to intercept vessels of unknown nationality suspected to be North Korean, but the unknown vessels were too fast, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force had to be called to intercept the unknown vessels. As a consequence of this failure, JCG realized their need for high speed interceptors.[1]

The Tsurugi-class is referred to as High-speed, special-purpose patrol vessels (高速特殊警備船?, Koutoku-sen). Planned as the top-tier of JCG intercept spy boats, this class features very high speed and accurate firepower. Its weaponry includes a JM61 20 mm Gatling gun, and a Remote Firing System consisting of a remote weapon system with a laser-optical fire-control system.[2]

In the Battle of Amami-Ōshima, the combination of the 20 mm gun with the RFS proved its worth, but it became clear that its effective range was insufficient against weapons on board the North Korean spy boats such as 9K38 Igla MANPADS and B-10 recoilless rifle. In response, the JCG intends to organize mobile flotillas combining Tsurugi-class with vessels of the Hida-class and the Aso-class, which have Bofors 40 mm L/70 autocannons.[3]

Ships in the class[edit]

Ships in the class
Pennant Number Ship Name Builder Commission Decommission Homeport
PS201 Tsurugi Hitachi Zosen Corporation 15 February 2001 Sakata
PS202 Hotaka Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 16 March 2001 Maizuru
PS203 Hakusan Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Kanazawa
PS204 Kaimon 21 April 2004 Naze
PS205 Asama Hamada
PS206 Howo 17 January 2005 Nagasaki

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yoshifumi Mayama 2008, p142.
  2. ^ Shigehiro Sakamoto 2008, p134.
  3. ^ Shigehiro Sakamoto 2008, p135.

Future reading[edit]

  • "Ships of Japan Coast Guard". Ships of the World (in Japanese). Kaijinn-sha (692): 51. July 2008. 
  • Shigehiro Sakamoto (July 2008). "60th Anniversary of JCG: For near future". Ships of the World (in Japanese). Kaijinn-sha (692): 132–137. 
  • Yoshifumi Mayama (July 2008). "60th Anniversary of JCG: Technical history of its ship". Ships of the World (in Japanese). Kaijinn-sha (692): 138–143.