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Author: Subject: JAPANESE Navy, 2017 onwards
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[*] posted on 17-8-2017 at 08:57 PM
JAPANESE Navy, 2017 onwards


Published: Wednesday, 16 August 2017 15:25

Japan's ATLA Selected MHI & Mitsui to build 30DX Surface Combatant for JMSDF
 
Japan's Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) announced on August 9th the launch of a new surface vessel programme called 30DX for the JMSDF. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) was selected as prime contractor while Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (Mitsui) was selected as subcontractor. ATLA is a branch of Japan's MoD created in 2015 to "ensure technological superiority and respond to operational needs smoothly and quickly".
 

Computer rendering of the 30DX vessel. CGI: ATLA
  
ATLA also announced that MHI would build the first vessel and Mitsui the second unit of the new class. Construction of the first two units is expected to begin in 2018; The series should consist of eight units built in pairs. Unit cost of this new class is estimated at 50 billion yen (about 390 million Euros). Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard and Mitsui Tamano Shipyard are set to be in charge of the construction.

The original plan considered a design similar to the American LCS concept, but finaly it looks like ATLA decided on a more conservative plan. MHI has been working (with its own funds) on the 30FF concept since 2015: A 3000 tons frigate capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. However the latest ATLA CGI looks quite different compared to the 30FF design. The three main factors driving the 30DX design appear to be affordability, miniaturization/automation and multi-mission capabilities.

The 30DX will follow the latest Asahi-class of Destroyers. It will be quite smaller and some of its mission set include mine warfare. 30DX is expected to replace both the Asagiri-class destroyer (8 units built in the 1980ies) and the Abukuma-class destroyer escort (6 corvettes built in the late 1980ies/early 1990ies).

According the ATLA, the 30DX is set to have a standard displacement of approximately 3,900 tons, a length of 130 meters and width of 16 meters. The top speed is set to be in excess of 30 knots. The propulsion system will be in CODAG arrangement with 1x Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine and 2x MAN diesel engines.

In terms of weapons, the vessel will be fitted with a BAE Systems 5 inch Mark 45 naval gun system, VLS cells for surface to air missiles (16 or 24), 8x anti-ship missiles (likely XSSM based on the shape of the cannisters), a Raytheon SeaRAM short range missile launcher on top of the helicopter hangar, torpedo and decoy launchers.

As far as sensors are concerned, the 30DX is fitted with a multi-functionr radar (in an integrated mast), Electro Optic sensors, variable depth sonar and passive towed array as well as a hull mounted mine countermeasure sonar. 30DX will be able to deploy and recover UUV, USV, helicopter as well as sea mines.

Special thanks to our Twitter sources: @phantom2navy @tamotaro @sdkfz1224 and @kh840124

  
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 30FF scale model
 
MHI 30FF

MHI has been working (with its own funds) on the 30FF concept since 2015: The vessel incorporates lessons learned on stealth and radar technology when MHI developped the ATD-X Shinshin stealth fighter experimental aircraft. Partners in the program include NEC, Fujitsu and Mitsubishi Electronics especially for the integrated mast and radars. MHI was showcasing a model of the vessel at PACIFIC 2015 in Australia and Sea Air Space 2017 in the US. The model is an actual remote controlled model use to test the ballance of the hull in a test facility of the JMSDF. It features a Mk 45 main gun, 2x Marlin - WS by Oto Melera (forward) and a SeaRAM on top of the helicopter hangar. The hull is fitted with two shafts and two water jets to answer the high speed requirement of the JMSDF: 30FF is required to reach 40 knots.

MHI 30FF basic specifications:
Length: 120 m
Max beam: 18 m
Displacement: About 3,000 t
Accommodation: About 100
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[*] posted on 27-12-2017 at 02:30 PM


Japan considers refitting helicopter carrier for stealth fighters: government sources

Nobuhiro Kubo, Tim Kelly

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is considering refitting the Izumo helicopter carrier so that it can land U.S. Marines F-35B stealth fighters, government sources said on Tuesday, as Tokyo faces China’s maritime expansion and North Korea’s missile and nuclear development.


FILE PHOTO: Japan Maritime Self Defense Force's helicopter carrier Izumo

Japan has not had fully fledged aircraft carriers since its World War Two defeat in 1945.

Any refit of the Izumo would be aimed at preparing for a scenario in which runways in Japan had been destroyed by missile attacks, and at bolstering defense around Japan’s southwestern islands, where China’s maritime activity has increased.

Three government sources close to the matter said the Japanese government was keeping in sight the possible future procurement of F-35B fighter jets, which can take off and land vertically, as it looks into the remodeling of the Izumo.

The 248-metre (814-feet) Izumo, Japan’s largest warship equipped with a flat flight deck, was designed with an eye to hosting F-35B fighters. Its elevator connecting the deck with the hangar can carry the aircraft, the sources said.

Possible refitting measures included adding a curved ramp at the end of the flight deck, improving the deck’s heat resistance against jet burners, and reinforcing the ship’s air traffic control capability, they said.

However, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said the government was not taking any concrete steps towards refitting the Izumo.

“Regarding our defense posture, we are constantly conducting various examinations. But no concrete examination is under way on the introduction of F-35B or remodeling of Izumo-class destroyers,” Onodera told reporters on Tuesday.

The Izumo has a sister ship called the Kaga.

Japan has frequently conducted joint drills with U.S. aircraft carriers in recent months to boost deterrence against North Korea.

One of the three government sources called such exercises “a great opportunity to see with our own eyes how the U.S. military operates their aircraft carriers” as Japan looks into the possible conversion of the Izumo into an aircraft carrier.

Regional tension has soared since North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test in September. Pyongyang said a month later it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach all of the U.S. mainland.

Japan is also wary of China’s long-range missiles, and would like to secure measures to launch fighters from aircraft carriers in case runways operated by U.S. forces in Japan or by Japan’s Air Self-Defence Force were destroyed by missiles.

Article 9 of Japan’s pacifist constitution, if taken literally, bans the maintenance of armed forces. However, Japanese governments have interpreted it to allow a military exclusively for self-defense.

Owning an aircraft carrier could raise a question of constitutionality, the sources said, so the government is set to address the issue in its new National Defence Programme Guidelines to be compiled by the end of 2018.

Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly; Writing by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Paul Tait
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[*] posted on 27-12-2017 at 02:50 PM


Japan, South Korea may refit naval ships for F-35 fighters

By: Mike Yeo   12 hours ago

MELBOURNE, Australia — Amid growing tensions in the region, both Japan and South Korea are reportedly investigating options to operate the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter on board their respective ships.

Quoting reports from unnamed military sources in their respective countries, Japan’s Kyodo news agency and South Korea’s Yonhap said that the short take-off vertical landing, or STOVL F-35B variant is being considered for operations from Japan’s Izumo-class DDH helicopter destroyer and South Korea’s Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, turning them into combat-capable aircraft carriers.

Kyodo’s also reported that the F-35Bs could be used to defend Japan’s far flung southwestern islands, which lack long runways needed for conventional fighter jets to operate.

That strategy is being considered in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear capabilities, as well as China’s rapid military modernization.

Asked about the reports at a media conference on Tuesday, Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera repeatedly denied any plans to modify the Izumo-class to operate F-35Bs, only going as far as saying the ministry is constantly “conducting various studies evaluating Japan’s defense capability.”

Modification of the ships to operate the F-35B will enhance flexibility and expand the range of missions, with Yonhap quoting a source as saying that the South Korean military is looking at “maximizing the strategic value of the vessel’s capabilities.” The ships can carry several helicopters during normal operations, with the Izumo and Dokdo class designed to carry a maximum of 14 and 10 helicopters respectively.

Both ship classes will however need to be modified extensively internally and externally to operate the F-35B, including the application of a thermally protective coating on areas of the flight deck to withstand hot exhaust gases during F-35B vertical landings, and possibly even reshaping the flight deck to allow rolling takeoffs.

They will also need to have the ammunition magazines hardened and enlarged to accommodate the F-35B’s weapons, while aviation fuel storage facilities will also likely need to be expanded to account for higher fuel consumption compared to helicopters.

Reuters has suggested that a ski-jump may be fitted to the Izumo as part of any modification program for the F-35B, however with the Izumo-class being 248 meters long and the Dokdo 199 meters, both already have flight decks long enough for the F-35B to carry out rolling takeoffs — no ski-jump needed.

Both Japan and South Korea have a single Izumo and Dokdo-class ship in service, with another ship of each class being constructed. The two countries are also operators of the F-35A conventional take off and landing version, with Japan and South Korea having 42 and 40 F-35As on order respectively.

The possession of aircraft carriers by Japan will be a significant shift in its defense posture and is likely to be a contentious issue, with critics likely to point to Japan’s pacifist constitution banning the country from acquiring what is referred to as “war potential.”

But Corey Wallace, an Einstein postdoctoral fellow in the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Berlin’s Freie Universitat wrote in the East Asia Forum that Japan’s constitution does not explicitly ban specific capabilities — offensive or otherwise. Rather, its government interprets ‘war potential’ as referring to the total strength of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces relative to potential threats and international conditions, and not whether a given capability is mostly offensive or defensive.
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[*] posted on 27-12-2017 at 07:29 PM


Making Izumo an aircraft carrier would boost alliance

By Kenta Kamimura/Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer

The government’s latest move to mull remodeling the Izumo, the largest-class destroyer of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, into an aircraft carrier highlights its aim to further strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperation by utilizing a new vessel amid mounting tension surrounding North Korea.

However, if F-35B fighter jets are introduced to the Air Self-Defense Force and are installed on an aircraft carrier, it would virtually enable the ship to operate as an “aircraft carrier with attack capabilities.” The envisaged move would trigger a debate in a review of the National Defense Program Guidelines scheduled to be released at the end of 2018.

The government plans to temporarily use a remodeled Izumo as a refueling base mainly for F-35B fighter jets deployed by the U.S. military for operations to defend Japan, according to sources.

Under the security-related laws that took effect in March 2016, the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military have unified more of their operations. In May, the Izumo and other MSDF destroyers conducted “U.S. military ship protection” measures — operations in which a Japanese vessel defends a U.S. supply ship in peacetime.

MSDF supply ships on a few occasions have refueled U.S. Aegis-equipped vessels positioned in the Sea of Japan to watch North Korea’s missile launches.

A senior Defense Ministry official said, “If an [MSDF] aircraft carrier were capable of refueling the U.S. military’s F-35Bs, there definitely would be a demand from the U.S. military, making it a symbol of strengthening the [Japan-U.S.] alliance.”

Within the government, there also is a future plan for the ASDF to have F-35B jets as carrier-based planes.

However, the SDF’s possession of an aircraft carrier has been frequently raised in the Diet for discussion about whether an aircraft carrier falls into the category of “armed forces,” the possession of which is prohibited in Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Constitution.

In April 1988, then Defense Agency Director General Tsutomu Kawara told the Diet that the SDF shall not be allowed to possess an intercontinental ballistic missile, a long-range strategic bomber or an aircraft carrier with attack capabilities, clarifying the interpretation of the Constitution. Since then, his statement has been established as the government’s stance.

As a result, the government intends to gain public acceptance by limiting the attack capabilities of a remodeled Izumo and using it for the purpose of defending remote islands and protecting MSDF vessels.

In fact, the Izumo has a relatively small body compared to aircraft carriers possessed by other countries, with its capacity estimated to be sufficient to carry about 10 fighters. It is dwarfed by vessels the size of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which can carry up to 50 jets.

The government is considering having an aircraft carrier because it contemplates “possessing the capability to strike enemy bases with North Korea in mind,” a government source said.

By possessing an aircraft carrier, even though not a large one, Japan could expand the flight range of fighter jets heading to attack North Korea’s territory, thus boosting the capability to strike an enemy base.

In the medium and long term, the government also plans to improve deterrent power against China, which has been actively advancing its maritime expansion and boosting military buildup.

Concerning the capability to strike enemy bases, the government stance is that Japan is allowed to have such a capability under the Constitution, but will refrain from possessing it in consideration of the nation’s exclusively defense-oriented policy.

However, there are mounting calls within the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to possess the capability as the country faces the rapid development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Japan will review the National Defense Program Guidelines at the end of 2018, and whether to possess the capability to attack enemy bases will be a focal issue.

Having requested funds in the fiscal 2018 budget for introducing long-range cruise missiles that can attack targets on the ground, the Defense Ministry has made strategic moves to make it possible to have the capability to attack enemy bases.

The SDF has been steadily making preparations for the various equipment it would need to thoroughly execute such an attack
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[*] posted on 23-1-2018 at 08:51 PM


ADECS 2018: JMSDF anticipates new and smaller destroyers

23rd January 2018 - 01:01 GMT | by Koji Miyake in Tokyo



The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) had 47 destroyers in 2013, but it plans to boost its fleet to 54 by 2023 by introducing a new destroyer type known as the 30DD.

The new 3,900t warship is classified as a ‘compact vessel’, with building costs reduced by making its hull smaller than those of current conventional destroyers in the 5,000t range. The JMSDF will build eight destroyers from 2018-22.

The JMSDF originally planned a 3,000t-class high-speed vessel similar to Littoral Combat Ships of the USN. Eventually, the JMSDF opted instead for a more heavily armed vessel.

The 130m-long 30DD will utilise new technology so it can serve as a fleet destroyer, and building costs will be JPY50 billion ($450 million) per unit, compared to JPY65 billion ($580 million) for a Takanami-class destroyer.

The 30DD will replace Hatsuyuki-class and Abukuma-class destroyers, but there are fears that construction costs will exceed the budget and that the compact hull adversely affects its scalability.

The Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) accepted design and build proposals last year. ATLA selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ design ahead of those from Mitsui and Japan Marine United Corporation, and MHI will be prime contractor for all eight hulls. The unsuccessful companies will still join as subcontractors to prevent weakening of Japan’s shipbuilding base.

The 30DD will be armed with vertical launch system (likely eight cells) for ESSMs and Type 07 anti-submarine rockets, SeaRAM, a 5-inch L/62 gun and four pairs of anti-ship missiles.

Powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG), the 30DDs will feature a multifunction radar and embark an SH-60K helicopter and possibly a UAV.

Whilst reinforcing its destroyer fleet, the JMSDF will reduce its minesweeping inventory from 25 to 18 hulls. Therefore, the 30DD will carry assets such as a USV, UUV, unmanned mine clearance system and anti-mine sonar to provide a complementary minesweeping capability. Furthermore, the 30DD will have a simple type of minelaying device.

The JMSDF’s mission burden has increased due to counter-piracy missions near Somalia, protecting Japan’s southwest islands against Chinese warships, a ballistic-missile warning mission against North Korea, and helping implement UN sanctions against North Korea in the East China, Yellow and Japan seas.

With these missions, the JMSDF is thus short of destroyers, plus it is numerically inferior to a People’s Liberation Army Navy that continues to increase in capability.
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[*] posted on 1-2-2018 at 08:01 PM


Japan outlines submarine modernisation efforts

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - Jane's International Defence Review

01 February 2018


A trio of Oyashio-class diesel electric submarines docked at Yokosuka Naval Base. Eleven of these submarines are believed to be in active service, with the first two boats converted into training vessels. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

An effort that was initiated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to modernise its undersea warfare capabilities in 2012 is on track to deliver the planned fleet of 22 diesel-electric submarines required for the country’s defence needs by the early 2020s called for under the Japanese government’s 2013 National Defense Program Guidelines, according to a JMSDF official.

Speaking at the Undersea Defence Technology Asia seminar at the Asia Defence Expo & Conference Series (ADECS) 2018 in Singapore, Captain Takahiro Nishiyama, deputy director of the Plans and Programmes Division at the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Maritime Staff Office, revealed that seven of the service’s 82 m Oyashio-class submarines – which have a surface displacement of 2,800 tonnes – have already completed service-life extension work to date.

The seven boats have received extensive refits during their second and third maintenance cycles, which have been planned to bring the vessels to “almost the same level of that of the latest model [Souryu-class] submarine” while extending their service lives.

According to Jane’s Fighting Ships reference, the JMSDF operates 11 Oyashio-class submarines with the lead vessel commissioned in March 1998 and one new boat entering service each year up till 2008, with construction alternating between Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The first two boats, Oyashio and Michishio , have been since been converted to training platforms.

“The rapid technological development and innovation make our submarines obsolete in [just] a few years after their construction,” Capt Nishiyama said. “On the other hand, we are now facing strict constraints in our defence budget and it is not affordable [for us] to maintain the adequate number of submarines by new construction.”

“Therefore, improving performance and life extension is indispensable in order to maintain a capable submarine force,” he added.

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[*] posted on 6-2-2018 at 09:53 PM


JMSDF seeks improved unmanned maritime capabilities

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - Jane's International Defence Review

05 February 2018

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is developing a range of unmanned surface and underwater vehicles (USVs and UUVs) to offset shrinking manpower resources while addressing the growing maritime security challenges it sees itself facing in the region.

Speaking at the Maritime Defence Asia seminar at the Asia Defence Expo & Conference Series (ADECS) 2018 in Singapore, Captain Tsutomu Okawa, Director of the Systems Programs Division, Operations and Plans Department at the JMSDF’s Maritime Staff Office, said efforts are under way to field a new UUV and USV by 2020, with an initial aim of deploying these platforms for mine countermeasure (MCM) operations from the future 3,900 tonne “Type 30” destroyers (also known by the development name of 30DD) that are expected to attain initial operational capability (IOC) from the early 2020s.

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[*] posted on 9-3-2018 at 08:56 PM


JMSDF Commissions its First 25DD-class Asahi ASW Destroyer

Posted On Thursday, 08 March 2018 22:50

By Ben Rimland

NBC Nagasaki reports that the latest 25DD class anti-submarine destroyer, the JS Asahi, was officially delivered to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JMSDF) at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Nagasaki shipyard. Yutaka Murakawa, the JMSDF chief of staff, led the commissioning ceremony in front of the ship’s 220 crew members and other JMSDF officials.


JS Asahi underway following its commissioning with the JMSDF. Picture by Japanese shipspotter @T_fighter.

“In order to safeguard the property and lives of the Japanese people, and to further protect the seas, territories, and airspace of Japan, you must effectively carry out the responsibilities asked of you,” said chief of staff Murakawa to the assembled crew. “We hope that from today, working towards a common cause, you will diligently fulfil your duty to serve this ship with honor.”

The Nikkei further reported that chief of staff Murakawa specifically cited North Korea and China in stating that “it is no exaggeration to state that Japan’s security environment has become the most severe yet.”

The ship is scheduled to be deployed to the JMSDF base at Sasebo. Following the delivery ceremony, approximately six months of equipment tests and crew exercises are scheduled before the ship achieves full operational status. The Asahi is the first destroyer in four years to be built at Mitsubishi’s Nagasaki shipyard. After recently incurring a 250 billion yen loss on the construction of a luxury ocean liner, the destroyer contract was seen as a reversal of fortune for the struggling shipyard.

Based on the anti-air warfare Akizuki-class destroyer (19DD), the Asahi is 151 meters long and 18.3 meters wide, for a total displacement of 5100 tons. The class has a draft of 5.4 meters.

The NBC Nagasaki report further explains that the Asahi is the first JMSDF destroyer to feature a “hybrid” COGLAG (combined gas and electric turbine) drive system, along with advanced anti-torpedo defenses and is further the first JMSDF destroyer equipped with a periscope-detecting radar system. Navy Recognition has previously covered the initial launch of the Asahi and reported on the variety of weapons systems and sensors the class is equipped with.

Ben Rimland is an independent researcher on Asia-Pacific security issues. His academic research pertains to Japanese defense policy and American security policy in Asia. He can be found on twitter at @JPNsecuritywonk

https://youtu.be/vExoA3OBtGg
JS Asahi on its commissioning day. Video by Japanese shipspotter @BinmeiTube

25DD Specifications:

Standard displacement: 5, 100 tons
Full load displacement: 6,800 tons
Total length: 151 m
Overall width: 18.3 m
Depth: 10.9 m
Draft: 5.4 m
Propulsion system: COGLAG / 2x LM 2500 IEC gas turbine engines / 2x motors (2.5 MW / 3,400 hp) / 2x Shafts
Maximum speed: 30 kt
Accommodation: 230 passengers
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[*] posted on 10-3-2018 at 10:53 AM


Y'know, I have to wonder what would be the interest should the Japanese start offering their ships for international warship competitions such as the current Australian and Canadian ones?



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[*] posted on 10-3-2018 at 01:21 PM


Most of their stuff is Heavy Metal, definitely in the MAJOR warship class, per the above, a bit of a limited market...............they do, however, make some very nice CG and Patrol ships which could lead to lighter Frigates.

The new small destroyer, the 30DD class (see a couple of articles above) "may" lead to something more exportable..............they are still heavily reliant on US and UK systems, radar, missiles and engines/turbines...........

I'm somewhat surprised someone hasn't gone for pre-built light frigates packing a standard suite of engines, radar, missiles, etc...........like buying a Hilux truck.............
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[*] posted on 20-3-2018 at 06:46 PM


JMSDF Commissioned its 9th Soryu-class SSK SS-509 JS Seiryu

Posted On Sunday, 18 March 2018 17:31

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its 9th Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture on March 12, 2018. JS Seiryu (SS-509) joins the JMSDF’s Submarine Flotilla 2, based in Yokosuka.


JS Seiryu (SS-509) during the commissioning ceremony March 12, 2018. Photo: JMSDF

JS Seiryu is the 9th Soryu-class submarine supplied to the JMSDF (the 5th built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the other four ones having been built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries).

Seiryu (せいりゅう) means Green Dragon. SS-509's keel was laid in October 2013, the SSK was launched in October 2016.
The keel for the first submarine in the class, Soryu (SS-501), was laid down in March 2005. It was launched in December 2007 and commissioned in March 2009.

The latest Soryu class SSK SS-508 Sekiryu was commissioned on 13 March 2017.


JS Seiryu (SS-509) during the commissioning ceremony March 12, 2018. Photo: JMSDF

Ten Soryu-class submarines are planned for the JMSDF. The class is an improved version of the Oyashio Class submarine. Soryu-class submarines are the world's largest conventionally powered submarines. They have an excellent operational track record and are equipped with state-of-the art technologies, including air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems that enable them to remain fully submerged for long periods of time, and advanced stealth technologies that make them more difficult to detect.

Main characteristics (as provided by Kawasaki Heavy Industries):

Length 84.0m
Width 9.1m
Depth 10.3m
Draft 8.4m
Displacement 2,950 Tons
Engine:
- Kawasaki 12V 25 / 25SB type diesel engine 2 groups
- Kawasaki Kokkamusu V4-275R Stirling engine four
Propulsion motor: 1 groups
Number of axes: 1 axis
Speed 20 knots
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[*] posted on 20-3-2018 at 08:00 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
JMSDF Commissioned its 9th Soryu-class SSK SS-509 JS Seiryu

Posted On Sunday, 18 March 2018 17:31

…The keel for the first submarine in the class, Soryu (SS-501), was laid down in March 2005. It was launched in December 2007 and commissioned in March 2009.

SS-509's keel was laid in October 2013, the SSK was launched in October 2016… commissioning ceremony March 12, 2018.


So that would be nine in thirteen years. Sigh… Oh well.
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[*] posted on 21-3-2018 at 08:41 AM


Obviously not built by the workforce at ASC.



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[*] posted on 21-3-2018 at 12:52 PM


JMSDF commissions new submarine rescue ship

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

20 March 2018


The JMSDF commissioned the replacement submarine rescue ship JS Chiyoda on 20 March in Okayama Prefecture. Source: MES

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned the replacement submarine rescue ship JS Chiyoda in a ceremony held on 20 March in Okayama Prefecture in western Japan.

The 128 m (420 ft)-long ship (with pennant number ASR 404) was inducted into the JMSDF's Submarine Flotilla 2, based in Yokosuka, shortly after being handed over by shipbuilder Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) at its facility in Tamano, the service said in a statement.

The move marks the first time a submarine rescue ship has been inducted into the JMSDF since March 2000 when JS Chihaya (ASR 403) entered service with the force.

The recently inducted ship, which was launched in October 2016, replaces the former JS Chiyoda (AS 405), which was decommissioned on the same day.

According to specifications provided by MES, the new vessel has a speed of 20 kt, a standard displacement of 5,600 tonnes (6,173 tons), a beam of 20 m and a draught of 5.2 m. The ship, which cost JPY53.4 billion (USD504 million) to build, is powered by two diesel engines, each of which generates19,500hp, according to MES.

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[*] posted on 9-4-2018 at 09:32 PM


Japan MOD to Explore Acquisition of Cooperative Engagement Capability

Posted On Monday, 09 April 2018 04:06

By Ben Rimland

The Mainichi Shimbun reports that Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) is in the midst of studying the feasibility of equipping its next-generation Aegis destroyers and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye AWACS with Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).


[I] CEC explained[/I]

CEC is a “sensor netting” system that links together detection and tracking sensors of aircraft and ships to provide an “integrated fire control capability” for warships. The system is specifically designed to facilitate allied air defense efforts by transforming AWACS platforms into extensions of an allied surface ship’s own sensor suite.

MOD is currently set to procure four E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes and two new Aegis destroyers in 2019-2020. The Mainichi reports that acquisition of CEC for the two new Aegis vessels is scheduled, while installation of CEC capability for the E-2D is under study. The report further notes that consideration of CEC comes at approximately the two year anniversary of the promulgation of limited collective self defense for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, capability that came into force a year after the 2015 passage of the national security-related laws.

A CEC capability would allow Japan’s Aegis-equipped destroyers to remain in the rear area of a potential engagement, allowing their missiles to be guided by faster-moving assets closer to the fight. At present, Japan’s Aegis vessels are capable of utilizing only their own radars for guidance and detection of enemy missiles and aircraft. CEC would both expand the detection range of Japan’s Aegis vessels and strengthen interoperability with American assets.

Ben Rimland is an independent researcher on Asia-Pacific security issues. His academic research pertains to Japanese defense policy and American security policy in Asia. He can be found on twitter at @JPNsecuritywonk.


JMSDF guided-missile destroyer JDS Atago (DDG 177). Picture: US Navy

About CEC

Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is a real-time sensor netting system that enables high quality situational awareness and integrated fire control capability. It is designed to enhance the anti-air warfare (AAW) capability of U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Navy aircraft and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Composite Tracking Network (CTN) units by the netting of geographically dispersed sensors to provide a single integrated air picture, thus enabling Integrated Fire Control to destroy increasingly capable threat cruise missiles and aircraft.

About the future JMSDF Aegis vessels

According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the new class of DDGs will be based upon a modified Atago-class hull. In 2000, the Japan Defense Agency Maritime Staff Office included another two Aegis ships in its five-year budget on top of the four Kongo class destroyers originally ordered. The Atago class is fundamentally an improved and larger version of Kongo class destroyers. The vessels have all of the armament of the Kongo class but received a hangar space for to accomodate two SH-60 helicopters. Atago class destroyers displace 10,000 tons full load. JDS Atego DD178, was commissioned in 2007 and JDS Ashigara DD-178 was commissioned in 2008.

About E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the newest variant of the E-2 aircraft platform. It features a new radar and upgraded aircraft systems. The U.S. Navy is set to receive 75 Advanced Hawkeyes by 2027. The IOC was declared in October 2014. The first aircraft carrier deployment took place aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt in March 2015. The E-2D conducted its first flight on August 3, 2007. The Japan Ministry of Defense became the first export customer of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye in 2014 to fulfill the nation's airborne early warning requirements. Northrop Grumman began production in 2016 on two aircraft. First flight of a JASDF E-2D took place in November last year.
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[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 05:29 PM


Izumo-Class Destroyers Deemed Fit to Carry F-35B Aircraft, If Remodeled (excerpt)

(Source: Yomiuri Shimbun; published April 28, 2018)

The [Japanese] Defense Ministry released a report on Friday concluding that Izumo-class destroyers of the Maritime Self-Defense Force can handle takeoffs and landings of fighter aircraft, if remodeled.

The report positively evaluated the Izumo-class destroyers for their “high potential to improve aircraft operational capabilities.”

Izumo-class destroyers are the largest in the MSDF. The Izumo and Kaga destroyers, both currently in service, are under consideration to be remodeled into aircraft carriers by the MSDF.

The report, which was submitted on March 22, is based on an investigation the MSDF entrusted to Japan Marine United Corp., the company that manufactured the Izumo-class vessels.

According to the report, the company examined whether the most advanced stealth F-35B fighter aircraft, which are capable of making short take-offs and vertical landings, can be operated from the Izumo-class vessels. The report lists what needs to be remodeled and other necessities that would enable the aircraft to take off, land, refuel and hangar.

The investigation was conducted under the assumption that the purpose would be to provide logistic support to U.S. military aircraft. Aircraft maintenance work on the Izumo-class vessels was among the situations not envisaged.

The company also examined the possibility of operating unmanned aircraft with rotor blades or fixed wings.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Asahi Shimbun said that “the Defense Ministry's precondition for the study was to look into how the Izumo could be used to provide rear-line support to the U.S. military,” but not to operate F-35Bs on its own ships.

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[*] posted on 22-5-2018 at 09:09 AM


Japan orders third Hibiki-class ocean surveillance ship

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

21 May 2018



Japan’s Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding has received an order from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo to build a third Hibiki-class ocean surveillance ship for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), an MoD spokesperson told Jane’s on 21 May.

The SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) vessel, which is expected to have pennant number AOS 5203, is set to be built at the Mitsui facility in the Japanese city of Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, for JPY18.3 billion (USD164 million).

According to the MoD, the acoustic surveillance ship, which is set to be launched in autumn 2019 and commissioned in March 2021, will feature a more advanced Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) than that fitted onto the first two ships of the class – JS Hibiki (AOS 5201) and JS Harima (AOS 5202) – which entered service in 1991 and 1992, respectively.

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[*] posted on 6-6-2018 at 03:49 PM


Aircraft Carrier Will Never Fly with Defense Policy Principle (excerpt)

(Source: The Asahi Shimbun; published June 4, 2018)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is plotting another radical change in Japan’s postwar security policy. It is laying the political groundwork for adding an aircraft carrier to Japan’s arsenal of weapons in a reckless departure from the nation’s strictly defensive security policy.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force's Izumo helicopter carrier, the largest destroyer operated by the MSDF, which went into commission in 2015, has a long flight deck like that of an aircraft carrier and is capable of carrying and deploying many helicopters.

The ship was designed with the possibility of being converted into an aircraft carrier, which can carry fighter jets. Since March, some clear signs have emerged of a serious interest in this idea within both the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

First, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, speaking at the Diet, admitted that the ministry is studying the feasibility of retrofitting the Izumo so that it can land U.S. F-35B stealth fighter jets.

In April, the Defense Ministry released a report compiled by a defense contractor about a study commissioned by the ministry into the possible conversion of the Izumo into an aircraft carrier that can provide rear-area support to U.S. military operations.

As if giving a boost to the government’s move, the LDP recently called for introducing a “multipurpose aircraft carrier” in its proposals for the new National Defense Program Guidelines the government plans to draft toward the end of the year.

The ruling party has claimed that the envisioned vessel would be used for “various purposes within the boundary of ‘senshu boei,’” or nonaggressive, exclusively self-defense. But there is no doubt that it would be an aircraft carrier with highly enhanced offensive capabilities.

Possessing an aircraft carrier has been a long-held dream of the MSDF, which has inherited the traditions of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Defense Ministry still maintains that it is only conducting a study on the idea of converting the Izumo into an aircraft carrier without working on any specific plan to carry out the idea.

Behind the scenes, however, the ministry has been taking steady steps toward having a “moving airbase.” (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Asahi Shimbun website.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201806040025.html

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[*] posted on 31-7-2018 at 09:04 AM


Japan launches first Improved Atago-class destroyer

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

30 July 2018


Japan launched on 30 July the first of two Improved Atago-class destroyers on order for the JMSDF. Source: Kosuke Takahashi

Japan launched on 30 July the first of two Improved Atago-class destroyers on order for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

Named Maya (pennant number 179), the 170 m-long vessel entered the water at the Japan Marine United (JMU) Corporation’s facility in Yokohama and is expected to be commissioned in March 2020.

The vessel, which will be the seventh JMSDF ship to be equipped with the Aegis Combat System, is 5 m longer than the Atago-class destroyers. Maya will use the Aegis Baseline J7 supported by the Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1D-series radar.

The ship, which cost about JPY168 billion (USD1.51 billion) to build, will feature the US-developed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, which will enable it to act as part of a wider ‘grid’ of sensor and weapon platforms that allows other CEC-equipped ships to share surveillance and targeting information.

The JMSDF plans to provide Maya and its sister ship, which is expected to enter service in 2021, with this capability to exchange data with similarly equipped platforms to better counter threats such as those posed by North Korean ballistic missiles.

Maya has a standard displacement of 8,200 tonnes, which is approximately 400 tonnes more than the Atago-class ships.

Powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines in a combined gas turbine-electric and gas turbine (COGLAG) configuration, the platform can reach a top speed of 30 kt.

The ship, which has a crew of about 300, is also equipped with multifunction towed array (MFTA) sonar systems and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities.

The Improved Atago class will be capable of launching Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA ballistic missile interceptors. A spokesperson at the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo told Jane’s that even though the ship is also capable of deploying Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) air-defence missiles, it is still unclear whether they will be included in the ship’s equipment.

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[*] posted on 31-7-2018 at 09:32 AM


Japan Launches Next-Generation Destroyer Carrying Latest Version of the Aegis Anti-Missile System (excerpt)

(Source: The Japan Times; issued July 30, 2018)

by Reiji Yoshida


Japan has launched the first of two Maya-class missile defense destroyers, and is also upgrading its earlier Atago-class ships, so as to eventually operate eight Aegis destroyers with a ballistic missile defense capability by 2021, (JSDA photo)

YOKOHAMA, Japan --– A launching ceremony for an 8,200-ton, 169.9-meter warship for the Maritime Self-Defense Force was held Monday at a plant in Yokohama’s Isogo Ward as Tokyo keeps steadily bolstering its defense capability against North Korean and Chinese missiles in close cooperation with U.S. military forces.

The Maya-class Aegis destroyer, which is yet to be furnished with major weapons systems, will be handed over to the MSDF in March 2020.

Defense officials have pinned great hopes on it. When deployed, the destroyer — built on the back of a ¥164.8 billion ($1.5 billion) budget for the ship and its weapon systems — will be one of Japan’s most powerful naval ships, boasting the latest version of the state-of-the-art Aegis combat system, which can be closely linked to the U.S. naval combat network.

Aegis consists of powerful computers, radars and missile-launching systems capable of tracking dozens of targets simultaneously and firing a number of missiles at once.

The ship will boast the latest version of the system, which can fire powerful SM-3 Block IIA missiles capable of intercepting much faster ballistic missiles — such as those test-fired by North Korea in a steep lofted trajectory into the Sea of Japan last year.

On June 12, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met U.S. President Donald Trump and agreed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump has praised the agreement and even declared that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat.

But Japanese defense officials have remained deeply skeptical, maintaining plans to build two new Maya-class destroyers and even set up Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense systems in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures.

“We cannot avert our eyes from the harsh fact that several hundred ballistic missiles whose range covers our country still exist in reality,” the Defense Ministry said in a letter to the Akita Prefectural Government on July 19.

Japan is building another Maya-class destroyer and also upgrading the Aegis system of two Atago-class destroyers.

In total, Japan will have eight Aegis destroyers with ballistic missile defense capability by 2021, four of which will be capable of launching SM-3 Block IIA missiles. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Japan Times website.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/30/national/politi...

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[*] posted on 31-7-2018 at 12:25 PM


Small addition of info to the above from a Defense News article on the launch -

Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun previously reported that the 27DDGs will be equipped with Cooperative Engagement Capability, or CEC, of which Japan received U.S. State Department approval to acquire in August 2015 under a $1.5 billion Foreign Military Sales request that also included the Aegis Baseline 9 system, AN/SPQ-9B and other associated equipment for the two ships.

The newspaper also reported that Japan is considering fitting its Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye early warning aircraft with CEC, which will link the detection and tracking sensors of aircraft and ships to provide an “integrated fire control capability” for warships and combat aircraft defending against air and missile threats.

Japan has four E-2D Hawkeyes on order, all of which are to be delivered in 2020.
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 04:53 PM


Better pics of the vessel launched.................







Via Navy Recognition and their Japanese ship spotter colleague (and twitter user) きりしま @phantom2navy

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[*] posted on 4-9-2018 at 11:54 AM


MSDF Submarines to Allow Women In Crew (excerpt)

(Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun; published August 31, 2018)

The Defense Ministry intends to allow female crew members to serve on Maritime Self-Defense Force submarines, ending a policy of having men-only crews, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

This change is aimed at alleviating a personnel shortage arising from the MSDF’s expanding range of duties and the nation’s chronically low birthrate. The ministry aims to have female SDF personnel serving on submarines from about 2023.

The change also will end the restrictions on positions female personnel can hold in the Self-Defense Forces, except for certain positions in the Ground Self-Defense Force that are restricted due to legal constraints.

Since 1993, the SDF has gradually rolled back restrictions on positions women can hold. In April 2017, the SDF unveiled an initiative encouraging more women to join the SDF, a move aimed at doubling the proportion of female personnel from about 6 percent at the end of 2016.

Although restrictions on women holding positions including GSDF front-line infantry units and others that could potentially see direct combat have been lifted, women were still barred from serving on submarines.

Submarines, which strictly conduct covert actions, have a crew of about 70 personnel. They frequently operate undersea for a month or longer, so crew members live together in close quarters for long periods.

“Submarines have no changing rooms,” a senior MSDF officer said. “When personnel have a shower, they get undressed and dressed in a corridor.” (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Japan News website.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004700236

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[*] posted on 13-9-2018 at 10:46 AM


Japanese destroyer shoots down ballistic missile off Hawaii

By: David B. Larter   8 hours ago


The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Atago-class guided missile destroyer JS Atago departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to support Rim of the Pacific 2010. Atago was recently upgraded to support ballistic missile defense missions. (US Navy Photo by MC2 Jon Dasbach)

WASHINGTON — Japanese Aegis destroyer Atago detected and shot down a short-range ballistic missile in space Tuesday in a joint test with the U.S. Navy using the SM-3 Block IB missile, according to a release from the Missile Defense Agency.

The test, which took place at Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands in Hawaii, was designed to test the installation of the capability in Atago's combat system, the release said.

“This successful test is a major milestone verifying the capabilities of an upgraded Aegis BMD configuration for Japan’s destroyers,” said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “This success provides confidence in the future capability for Japan to defeat the developing threats in the region.”

The Atago is similar in capabilities and appearance to a U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The Japanese currently have been fielding the SM-3 IA and is working to co-develop the SM-3 Block IIA with the United States. The SM-3 IB is in wide use throughout the US Fleet and is fielded at the Navy’s AEGIS Ashore facility in Romania.

AEGIS missile defense has had a stellar record overall, with 38 of of 47 tests being deemed successful according to MDA numbers when including Tuesday's test. Two recent Block IIA tests were failures, the more recent one due to a failure in the boost-phase rocket motor and the one prior due to a sailor error that caused the missile to self-destruct.

The U.S. Navy has been growing restless with the BMD patrol mission, arguing that much of it should be moved to AEGIS Ashore sites, freeing up destroyers and cruisers to do other missions and use the BMD capabilities only in emergencies.

The mission, however, has been the driving force behind major technological leaps that have kept the surface navy relevant.
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[*] posted on 9-10-2018 at 09:13 AM


Japan launches first Soryu-class submarine equipped with lithium-ion batteries

Gabriel Dominguez, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

08 October 2018


Japanese shipbuilder MHI launched Oryu, the first Soryu-class submarine on order for the JMSDF equipped with lithium-ion batteries, on 4 October. Source: JMSDF

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has launched the first Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to be equipped with lithium-ion batteries.

The 84 m-long boat, which has been named Oryu (with pennant number SS 511), entered the water on 4 October in a ceremony held at MHI's facilities in Kobe.

The submarine is the 11th of the class and the sixth to be built by MHI, with the other five having been built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Oryu was laid down in March 2015 and is expected to enter service with the JMSDF in 2020.

The launch comes after GS Yuasa, a Kyoto-based developer and manufacturer of battery systems, announced in February 2017 that Japan would become the first country in the world to equip SSKs with lithium-ion batteries in place of lead-acid batteries.

At the time the company said the batteries, which store considerably more energy than the lead-acid batteries, would be mounted on the final two Soryu-class boats for the JMSDF: SS 511 and SS 512.

According to Jane's Fighting Ships , the Soryu class has a beam of 9.1 m, a hull draught of 8.4 m, and a displacement of 2,947 tonnes when surfaced and of 4,100 tonnes when submerged.

The previous boats of the class have been fitted with two Kawasaki 12V 25/25 diesel generators and four Kawasaki Kockums V4-275R Stirling air-independent propulsion (AIP) engines, and use lead-acid batteries for energy storage.

Each of the platforms has a top speed of 20 kt when submerged and of 12 kt when surfaced.

The Soryu class is equipped with six 533 mm bow tubes that can fire the Japanese-developed Type 89 heavyweight torpedo. The boats are also capable of deploying the UGM-84C Harpoon medium-range anti-ship missile against surface targets. Each boat has also been equipped with two underwater countermeasure launchers.

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