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Izumo class

Helicopter carrier

Izumo class

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

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
Gas turbines 4 x ?, developing 112 000 hp
Fixed wing F-35B, V-22 Osprey
Helicopters 14 x ?
Missiles 2 x SeaRAM
Artillery 2 x 20-mm Phalanx CIWS


   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, or possibly even 30 helicopters. 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 mainly via helicopters.

   For self-defense the ships will be equipped with two 20-mm Phalanx CIWS and two SeaRAM missile launchers.

   These ships are powered by combined gas turbine and gas (COGAG) propulsion. 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

? (DDH-184) 2013 expected in 2015 expected in 2017

under construction


Video of the Izumo class helicopter carrier

Izumo class

Izumo class

Izumo class

Izumo class

Izumo class

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