The Ministry of Defense (MOD) first announced plans for the new class on November 23, 2009. This ship's primary mission is anti-submarine warfare but peacekeeping and disaster relief operations are also being considered.
The ship will be able to carry up to 14 helicopters, however only 7 ASW helicopters and 2 SAR helicopters are planned for the initial aircraft complement. For other operations, 400 troops and 50 3.5t trucks (or equivalent equipment) can also be carried. The flight deck has 5 helicopter landing spots that allow simultaneous landings or take-offs. The ship is equipped with 2 Phalanx CIWS and 2 SeaRAM for its defense. 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.
Forecast International has reported that some of the design changes with respect to the previous class are intended to support the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft, although neither the MOD or the JMSDF have ever mentioned the possibility of introducing fixed-wing aircraft.
The construction of the first ship of the class began in 2011 at an IHI Marine United shipyard in Yokohama. with funding totaling 113.9 billion yen ($1.5 billion) being set aside in the fiscal 2010 budget for this purpose. Commissioning of the first of class is currently scheduled for 2015.
Ships in the class
In September 2011, The Asahi Shinbunreported that the Ministry of Defence is to proceed with a budget request calling for funds for the construction of the planned second unit in the class, but finally, the budget was approved and construction contract was awarded to IHI Corporation in October 2012. This will come under the Defense Ministry's Mid-Term Defense Program FY2011-2015. The first ship in the class, the Izumo was launched on 6 August 2013.
On August 6, 2013 the Izumo (DDH-183) was unveiled in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan. The Washington Post noted that this ship, the biggest warship in Japan's fleet since World War II, "has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier" and has been described by the Chinese, as an “aircraft-carrier in disguise”. Though technically a destroyer, some experts believe the new Japanese ship could potentially be used in the future to launch fighter jets or other fixed wing aircraft.
Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense. Specifically, they cited anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions. Additionally, it is intended to bolster the nation’s ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale disasters. This unveiling occurred at a time of heightened tensions over several small disputed islands called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China. The islands are located between southern Japan and Taiwan.
Name: Izumo-class helicopter destroyer
Builders: IHI Marine United
Preceded by: Hyuga class helicopter destroyer
Cost: 113.9 billion yen ($1.2 billion for construction of first unit to date)
19,500 tonnes empty
27,000 tons full load
Length: 248.0 m
Beam: 38.0 m
Draft: 7.5 m
Depth: 23.5 m
Installed power: 112,000 hp (84,000 kW)
Propulsion: COGAG, two shafts 4 × GE/IHI LM2500IEC gas turbine
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Complement: 970 including crew and troops
Sensors and processing systems:
OYQ-12 combat direction 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)
2 × Phalanx CIWS
2 × SeaRAM CIWS
7 ASW helicopters and 2 SAR helicopters
14 aircrafts maximum