Unryū-class aircraft carrier

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Japanese aircraft carrierUnryu.jpg
Unryū on 16 July 1944
Class overview
Name: Unryū class
Builders:
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Shōkaku class
Succeeded by: Project Number G18(only a project)
Subclasses:
  • Unryū (Ship #302 and 5001–5006)
  • Ikoma (Ship #5007–5015)
Cost:
  • 87,039,000 JPY in 1941[1]
  • 93,442,000 JPY in 1942[2]
Built: 1942–45
In commission: 1944–45
Planned: 1 (1941) + 15 (1942)
Completed: 3
Cancelled: 13
Lost: 2 + 1 (Aso)
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Type: Aircraft carrier
Displacement:
  • Unryū and Amagi
  • 17,480 long tons (17,760 t) standard
  • all others
  • 17,150 long tons (17,425 t) standard
Length: 227.35 m (745.9 ft) o/a
Beam: 22 m (72 ft)
Draught: 7.86 m (25.8 ft)
Propulsion:
Speed:
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)[3]
Endurance:
  • Fuel: 3,750 tons oil[3][4]
  • Armaments for aircraft:[5]
  • Unryū class
  • 72 × 800 kg bombs
  • 288 × 250 kg bombs
  • 456 × 60 kg bombs
  • 36 × Type 91 torpedoes
  • Ikoma class
  • 72 × 800 kg bombs
  • 144 × 250 kg bombs
  • 252 × 60 kg bombs
  • 36 × Type 91 torpedoes
Complement:
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar:[6]
  • Unryū and Amagi as built
  • 2 × Type 21 radars (top of island and flight deck)
  • 1 × Type 13 radar (mast)
  • Katsuragi as built
  • 2 × Type 21 radars (top of island and flight deck)
  • 2 × Type 13 radars (mast and radio antenna)
  • Amagi and Katsuragi in 1945
  • 1 × Type 21 radar (flight deck)
  • 1 × Type 22 radar (top of island)
  • 1 × Type 13 radar (mast)
  • Sonar and hydrophone:[7][8]
  • Amagi
  • Type 93 hydrophone
  • Type 3 active sonar
  • all others
  • Type 0 hydrophone
  • Type 3 active sonar
Armament:
Armor:
  • [3]
  • Deck: 25 mm (0.98 in)
  • Belt:
  • Katsuragi and Aso
  • 50 mm (2.0 in)
  • all others
  • 46 mm (1.8 in)
Aircraft carried:
Aviation facilities:
  • flight deck
  • bilayer hangar
  • two elevators
  • 3 × Type 3 crash barrier
  • 4 × 3 wires Type 3 arresting gear

The Unryū-class aircraft carriers (雲龍型航空母艦 Unryū-gata Kōkūbokan?) were World War II Japanese aircraft carriers. 16 carriers were planned under the Maru Kyū Programme (Ship #302 in 1941) and the Kai-Maru 5 Programme (#5001–5015 in 1942). However, only 3 of the Unryū class carriers were completed.[11][Note 1]

Design[edit]

In the lead-up to the Pacific War the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attempted to build a large number of fleet carriers. For them to be built quickly, the design for these ships was based on the aircraft carrier Hiryū rather than the newer and more sophisticated Taihō or the Shōkaku class.[12]

The Unryū-class aircraft carrier design was very similar to that of Hiryū. The ships were lightly built, and the main difference from Hiryū was that the carriers' island was placed on the starboard side of the ships. The carriers were capable of carrying 63 aircraft in two hangars, and were fitted with two elevators. The Unryū class carried a smaller quantity of aviation fuel than Hiryū with fuel tanks protected by concrete. The ships were fitted with the same propulsion system used in the aircraft carrier Sōryū to reach 34 knots (63 km/h), though Katsuragi was instead fitted with two turbines of the same type used in destroyers and had a maximum speed of 32 knots (59 km/h).[12] The carriers also had a similar armament as Hiryū[12] and were equipped with two Type 21 radars and two Type 13 radars.[13]

Construction[edit]

The first three Unryū-class aircraft carriers were laid down in 1942 and construction of a further three began the next year. Eventually, only three (Unryū, Amagi, and Katsuragi) were completed and construction of the other three carriers (Kasagi, Aso and Ikoma) was abandoned in 1945.[12]

Ships in classes[edit]

Unryū class[edit]

Project number was G16. General production model of the Unryū class. 3 carriers were completed. The IJN unofficial designation for Unryū and Amagi were Modified Hiryū class (改飛龍型 Kai Hiryū-gata?),[14] Ship Number 5002–5006 were Modified Unryū class (改雲龍型 Kai Unryū-gata?)[15] also.

Ship # Ship Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
302 Unryū (雲龍?) Yokosuka Naval Arsenal 1 August 1942 25 September 1943 6 August 1944 Sunk by USS Redfish at East China Sea 32°10′N 135°58′E / 32.167°N 135.967°E / 32.167; 135.967 on 19 December 1944. Struck on 20 February 1945.
5001 Amagi (天城?) Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard 1 October 1942 15 October 1943 10 August 1944 Sunk by air raid at Kure on 28 July 1945. Struck on 30 November 1945. Salvaged and scrapped between 5 December 1946–12 November 1947.
5002 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal Cancelled in 1943. Naval budget and the materials were used for Shinano.
5003 Katsuragi (葛城?) Kure Naval Arsenal 8 December 1942 19 January 1944 15 October 1944 Survived war. Decommissioned on 5 October 1945. Scrapped between 22 December 1946–30 November 1947.
5004 Kasagi (笠置?) Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard 14 April 1943 19 October 1944 (June 1945)[17] 84% complete. Construction stopped on 1 April 1945. Scrapped between 1 September 1946–31 December 1947.
5005 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal Cancelled in 1943. Naval budget and the materials were used for Shinano.
5006 Aso (阿蘇?) Kure Naval Arsenal 8 June 1943 1 November 1944 (September 1945)[17] 60% complete. Construction stopped on 9 November 1944. Sunk as target off Kurahashi-Jima in July 1945. Salvaged and scrapped between 21 December 1946–26 April 1947.

Ikoma class[edit]

Simplified and sped-up construction model of the Unryū class. They fitted shift-arrangement machinery (four sets of parallel two boilers and one turbine).[5][18] Therefore, as for their chimneys/funnels/smokepipes/uptakes, those were intended to be spaced out.[18] The IJN unofficial designation for this class was Modified Ship Number 302-class (改第302号艦型 Kai Dai 302-Gōkan-gata?).[10][17]

Ship # Ship Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
5007 Ikoma (生駒?) Kawasaki-Kobe Shipyard 5 July 1943 17 November 1944 (October 1945)[17] 60% complete. Construction stopped on 9 November 1944. Scrapped between 4 July 1946–10 March 1947.
5008 Kurama (鞍馬?)[19] or
Kaimon (開聞?)[20]
Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard[17] (November 1943)[17] (December 1945)[17] Cancelled on 5 May 1944.[21]
5009 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[17] (July 1943)[17] (March 1946)[17] Cancelled on 11 August 1943.[22]
5010 Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard[17] (April 1944)[17] (June 1946)[17]
5011 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[17] (June 1944)[17] (September 1946)[17]
5012 Kure Naval Arsenal[17] (June 1944)[17] (September 1946)[17]
5013 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[17] (June 1944)[17] (March 1947)[17]
5014 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[17] (October 1944)[17] (September 1947)[17]
5015 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[17] (January 1945)[17] (March 1948)[17]

Photos[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Senshi Sōsho Vol.31 (1969), p.815
  2. ^ Senshi Sōsho Vol.88 (1975), p.37
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ships of the World (1994), p.66
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shizuo Fukui, p.442–445
  5. ^ a b c d The Maru Special (1981), p.55
  6. ^ The Maru Special (1981), p.17–19, p.54–55 and p.84–87
  7. ^ Ships of the World (1994), p.177
  8. ^ a b c d Japan Center for Asian Historical Records, p.3
  9. ^ a b c d Shizuo Fukui, p.276
  10. ^ a b Rekishi Gunzo, p.105
  11. ^ a b Lengerer 2010b, p. 106
  12. ^ a b c d Stille (2005), p. 37
  13. ^ Stille (2005), p. 38
  14. ^ Shizuo Fukui, p.273
  15. ^ a b c Shizuo Fukui, p.274
  16. ^ Shizuo Fukui, p.331
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Senshi Sōsho Vol.88 (1975), p.18
  18. ^ a b Shizuo Fukui, p.275
  19. ^ The Maru Special (1979), p.38
  20. ^ Daiji Katagiri, p.83–84
  21. ^ Senshi Sōsho Vol.88 (1975), p.95
  22. ^ Senshi Sōsho Vol.88 (1975), p.71–74

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Unryu class". Combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  • Lengerer, Hans (2010). Illustrated Record of the Transition of the Superstructures of BB Kongô Class: Introduction to CV Unryû Class. Katowice, Poland: Model Hobby. ISBN 978-83-60041-42-0. 
  • Stille, Mark (2005). Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers, 1921 - 45. New Vanguard. Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 1-84176-853-7. 
  • Worth, Richard (2001). Fleets of World War II. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81116-2. 
  • Shizuo Fukui, "Stories of Japanese aircraft carriers", Kōjinsha (Japan) August 1996, ISBN 4-7698-0655-8
  • "Rekishi Gunzō".  History of Pacific War Extra, "Perfect guide, The aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy & Army", Gakken (Japan), April 2003, ISBN 4-05-603055-3
  • Daiji Katagiri, Ship Name Chronicles of the Imperial Japanese Navy Combined Fleet, Kōjinsha (Japan), June 1988, ISBN 4-7698-0386-9
  • "Japan Center for Asian Historical Records". , National Archives of Japan, "List of main points and features of surface vessels under construction", Reference code: A03032074600
  • Monthly Ships of the World, "Kaijinsha".  (Japan)
    • No. 481, Special issue, "History of Japanese Aircraft Carriers", May 1994
    • No. 736, Special issue, "History of Japanese Aircraft Carriers" (New edition), January 2011
  • The Maru Special, Ushio Shobo (Japan)
    • Warship Mechanism Vol. 3, "Mechanisms of Japanese 29 Aircraft Carriers", August 1981
    • Japanese Naval Vessels No. 23, "Japanese aircraft carriers I", January 1979
  • Senshi Sōsho, Asagumo Simbun (Japan)
    • Vol. 31, Naval armaments and war preparation (1), "Until November 1941", November 1969
    • Vol. 88, Naval armaments and war preparation (2), "And after the outbreak of war", October 1975

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Two of these ships were canceled to release a slipway and material to convert Shinano into an aircraft carrier.[11]

External links[edit]