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Kongou class

Anti-air warfare destroyer

Kongou class destroyer

The Kongou class ships have a helicopter flight deck, but no permanent aircraft facilities

 
 
Country of origin Japan
Entered service 1993
Crew 307 men
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length 161 m
Beam 21 m
Draught 6.2 m
Displacement, standard 7 250 tons
Displacement, full load 9 485 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 30 knots
Range 8 300 km at 20 knots
Propulsion four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines delivering 102 160 shp combined to two shafts
Aircraft
Helicopters 1 x SH-60J Seahawk
Armament
Artillery 1 x OTO Melara 127 mm compact DP gun, 2 x Mk.15 Phalanx CIWS
Missiles 2 x Mk.41 vertical launch system with a total of 90 Standard SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles, 2 x quad Harpoon launchers
Torpedoes 2 x tripple HOS 302 torpedo tubes for Mk 46 Mod 5 Neartip ASW torpedoes

 

   For much of the last four decades, the primary focus of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) has been on anti-air and anti-submarine warfare. During the 1980s and 1990s, the increasing threat from China, together with the reduction of the US military presence in the region, meant that Japan was forced to take a more active military role in Asian waters.

   To meet this new role a new Kongou class of guided-missile destroyers has been commissioned. These anti-aircraft vessels are one of the most capable warships of their type in the region.

   Based loosely upon the US Navy's Arleigh Burke class, the Kongous have been built to mercantile instead of warship standards. However, they are slightly bigger than the American ships, and carry an improved lightweight version of the AEGIS air defense system. AEGIS integrates weapons, radar and fire control into one highly efficient system, capable of controlling a fleet battle above and below the surface. Actually the Kongou class destroyers are one of the largest destroyers in the world. In terms of size and displacement these are nearly as large as cruisers.

   First proposed in the JSDF's FY 87 programme, Kongou (DDG 173) was commissioned in 1993. It was followed by Kirishima (DDG 174) in 1995, Myouko (DDG 175) in 1996 and Choukai (DDG 176) in 1998. The main external difference between these vessels and the Burkes is that the Kongous have a longer flush deck at the stern, making it easier to handle helicopters up to the size of the SH-60J Seahawk or larger. Though it looks like due to this improvement the Kongou class lost some of the Arleigh Burke class's seakeeping.

   The main role of these warships is fleet air defense. The Kongou class ships are an extremely important element in the protection of Japan. Their sophisticated long-range air defense capability is seen as a national asset beyond their duty to protect the fleet.

   Main weapons of the Kongou class are two Mk.41 vertical launch systems with a total of 90 Standard SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles.

   There are two 20 mm Phalanx CIWS, that provide last ditch protection against incoming anti-ship missiles. There is also a 127 mm dual-purpose rapid-fire cannon that can engage both surface and air targets, or bombard land targets.

   Anti-ship capability is provided by 2 quadrupple Harpoon missile launchers. However the Kongou class lacks any significant land attack capabilities.

   Also there are two tripple launchers for Mk.46 Mod.5 Neartip anti-submarine torpedoes. Anti-submarine capability is also provided by a SH-60J helicopter.

 

Variants

 

   Atago class of Aegis guided missile destroyers. These warships are essentially scaled-up versions of the Kongou class. First two Atago class ships were commissioned with the JMSDF during 2007-2008. Construction of another two ships began in 2015. These are planned to be commissioned in 2020-2021. The Atago class warships have better helicopter handing facilities, including a hangar for a SH-60K helicopter. These warships can also function as fleet command centers. Aegis system of the Atago class has improved capabilities. Some improvements were made to reduce radar cross-section of these ships.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Kongou (173) 1990 1991 1993

active, in service

Kirishima (174) 1992 1993 1995

active, in service

Myoko (175) 1993 1994 1996

active, in service

Chokai (176) 1995 1996 1998

active, in service

 

 
Kongou class destroyer

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Kongou class destroyer

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Kongou class destroyer

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Kongou class destroyer

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