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Izumo class

Helicopter carrier

Izumo class

The Izumo class helicopter carrier is the biggest Japanese warship since the WWII

 
 
Country of origin Japan
Entered service 2015
Crew ?
Aircrew ?
Flag staff ?
Marines 400
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length 248 m
Beam 38 m
Draught 7.5 m
Flight deck length ?
Flight deck width ?
Hangar deck length ?
Displacement, empty 19 000 tons
Displacement, full load 27 000 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 30 knots
Propulsion COGAG propulsion system with 4 gas turbines, developing 112 000 hp combined
Airwing
Fixed wing (optional) F-35B, V-22 Osprey
Helicopters 14 x SH-60J or SH-60K
Armament
Artillery 2 x 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
Missiles 2 x SeaRAM

 

   The Izumo class is a new type of helicopter carriers of the Japan's Marine Self-Defense Forces. Two ships of the class are planned. The new ships will replace ageing Shirane class ASW destroyers. The lead ship Izumo was launched in 2013. It was commisioned in 2015. It is the biggest Japanese warship since the World War II. It is even larger than the previous Hyuga class helicopter carriers.

   The Izumo class helicopter carriers are multi-role ships. These can conduct amphibious operations, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. This class provides the Maritime Self-Defense Force with greater force projection capability.

   This helicopter carrier bears a strong resemblance to a light aircraft carriers. The Izumo is even larger than Italian Cavour, Spanish Principe de Asturias and some other light aircraft carriers. However the Izumo class ships are referred as helicopter destroyers in Japan for political reasons. It is against Japanese constitution to operate what is referred as offensive weapons and exceeds necessary level of self-defense. The helicopter destroyer classification is not correct, as these ships are significantly larger than destroyers, have a full-length flight deck and relatively large air wing.

   The flight deck has 5 helicopter landing spots for simultaneous take-offs and landings. The Izumo class ships can carry 14 helicopters. Maximum number of helicopters carried is 28. However it is claimed that typical air wing during peace time will be 7 ASW and 2 SAR helicopters. Apart from helicopters these ships can also accommodate F-35B STOVL multi-role fighters and V-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport. However Japanese officials do not mention this capability.

   For amphibious operations it can carry troops and vehicles inside the ship. Typically 400 marines and 50 3.5 t trucks (or equivalent equipment) can be carried. However Izumo class carriers lack a well deck that dedicated amphibious assault ships have. Troops can be landed on the beaches via helicopters.

   For self-defense the ships will be equipped with two 20-mm Phalanx CIWS and two SeaRAM missile launchers. Normally these helicopter carriers are escorted by other warships, that defend them from air, surface and underwater attacks.

   These ships have a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion system. Each ship is fitted with four gas turbines, developing 28 000 hp each. These drive two shafts.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Izumo (DDH-183) 2012 2013 2015

active, in service

Kaga (DDH-184) 2013 2015 expected in 2017

under construction

 

Video of the Izumo class helicopter carrier

 
Izumo class

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Izumo class

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Izumo class

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Izumo class

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Izumo class

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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