JS Izumo (DDH-183) entry into port in Yokosuka
|Builder:||IHI Marine United|
|Laid down:||27 January 2012|
|Launched:||6 August 2013|
|Commissioned:||25 March 2015|
|Status:||in active service, as of 2017[update]|
|Class & type:||Izumo-class helicopter destroyer|
|Length:||248 m (814 ft)|
|Beam:||38 m (125 ft)|
|Draft:||7.5 m (24.6 ft)|
|Speed:||more than 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h)|
|Complement:||970 including crew and troops|
JS Izumo (DDH-183) is a helicopter carrier (officially classified by Japan as a helicopter destroyer) and the lead ship in the Izumo class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). She is the second warship to be named for Izumo Province, with the previous ship being the armored cruiser Izumo (1898).
Design and construction
The construction of the first ship of the class began in 2011 at an IHI Marine United shipyard in Yokohama, with funding totalling 113.9 billion yen ($1.5 billion) being set aside in the fiscal 2010 budget for this purpose. 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.
The ship, the largest Japanese naval vessel since World War II, was laid down on 27 January 2012 and launched on 6 August 2013. The ship began sea trials on 29 September 2014. The ship was commissioned on 25 March 2015. Izumo became operational in time to take part in a major August 2015 disaster drill conducted in Tokyo, alongside the Japan Coast Guard's large patrol vessel Izu. The two vessels acted as casualty receiving and triage stations during the exercise.
The ship can host up to 28 aircraft, or 14 larger aircraft. However, only 7 ASW helicopters and 2 SAR helicopters are planned for the initial aircraft complement. For other operations, 400 troops and 50 3.5-ton trucks (or equivalent equipment) can also be carried. The flight deck has 5 helicopter landing spots that allow simultaneous landings or take-offs.
In 2010, Forecast International reported that some design features were intended to support fixed wing aircraft such as the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II; although neither the Ministry of Defense nor the JMSDF have mentioned the possibility of introducing fixed-wing aircraft. The ship has neither a "ski-jump" nor a catapult, typical features for launching fixed-wing aircraft. If Izumo-class ships were to operate fixed-wing aircraft, they would be limited to STOVL (short take-off, vertical landing) aircraft. Japan has purchased the conventional version of the Lightning II (the F-35A), but may also acquire the STOVL version (the F-35B) which could be operated from a modified Izumo class.
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- "ＩＨＩ、防衛省からヘリコプター搭載護衛艦を８００億円で受注". Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun. 1 April 2011.
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- "Japan Commissions Largest-Ever Helicopter Carrier". Aviation Today. Retrieved 30 Mar 2015.
- "1.67 million people take part in disaster drills". The Yomiuri Shimbun. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- Hardy, James (25 March 2015). "Japan commissions helicopter carrier Izumo". janes.com. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- Forecast International (21 June 2010). "Details of New Japanese 'Helicopter Destroyer'". Defensetalk.
- Holm, Erik. "Japan launches biggest warship since WW2" (in Danish). Ingeniøren, 12 August 2013. Accessed: 12 August 2013.
- Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the “Offensive” Rubicon? Newpacificinstitute.com, 13 August 2013.
Media related to JS Izumo (DDH-183) at Wikimedia Commons