ThePointblank
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Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:35 am

Not exactly airplane related, but it is an aircraft carrying ship in all but name:
http://news.yahoo.com/japan-unveils-...rgest-warship-since-130234811.html

Quote:

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.

The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense — particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions — and to bolster the nation's ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Though the ship — dubbed "Izumo" — has been in the works since 2009, its unveiling comes as Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan. For months, ships from both countries have been conducting patrols around the isles, called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China.

The Japanese call this ship a 'helicopter-carrying destroyer', but it is easily a small carrier in all but name. She is supposed to displace 27,000 tons fully loaded, bigger than the British Illustrious class carriers and the Spanish Juan Carlos I carrier. To put the size of the ship into context, she is comparable with a World War II Essex-class fleet carrier. The air wing size of 14 helicopters is also small; other similar ships can carry up to 30 aircraft, a mix of both fixed wing and rotary wing assets.

The Japanese have a sister ship planned as well, and with the two Izumo class 'destroyers' and the two Hyūga's, the Japanese essentially have a 4 carrier fleet in the wings if needed. Coupled with the speculation about another class of even bigger 'helicopter destroyers' that some have dubbed 26DDH, it appears the Japanese believe naval aviation is in their future.

[Edited 2013-08-06 18:40:07]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:16 pm

Building DDHs for the Japanese Navy is nothing new. They have been building the DDH type of destroyer since the early 1970s.

Haruna class DDH, 2 ships, construction began in 1970, 7,500 tons.

Shirane class DDH, 2 ships, construction began in 1977, 7,000 tons.

Hyuga class DDH, 2 ships, construction began in 2006, 19,000 tons.

Izumo class DDH, 2 ships, construction began in 2012, 27,000 tons.

All of the JMSDF DDHs are capable of more than 30 knots.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:21 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
Building DDHs for the Japanese Navy is nothing new. They have been building the DDH type of destroyer since the early 1970s.

Indeed, but the configuration of the early DDH's were more destroyer than aircraft carrier. The configuration of the most recent Japanese 'DDH's' are more aircraft carrier than anything else. The latest gen Japanese DDH's emphasize aviation over onboard weapons. Witness the evolution:
Haruna DDH:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/US_Navy_040625-N-8157C-053_The_Japanese_destroyer_JDS_Haruna_%28DDH_141%29_passes_Hospital_Point_in_Pearl_Harbor%2C_Hawaii.jpg
Shirane DDH:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Shirane_class_destroyer_-_Kurama_%28cropped%29.jpg

Hyuga 'DDH':
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/JS_Hy%C5%ABga%2C_Ise_Bay_01.jpg

Izumo 'DDH':
http://www.airliners.net/uf/95260/1375894281BrdgRG.jpeg

Armament also reflects this change; the Haruna and Shirane's were definitely destroyers by any standard available. Starting with the Hyuga, the armament became more for self-defence purposes, with only ESSM, Phalanx and torpedoes as the weapons, and this trend can be seen again in the Izumo, which is only equipped with Phalanx and SeaRAM.

Also, deck configuration changed between Hyuga and Izumo; Izumo has a single, large deck edge lift, with armament moved off the deck and onto either the island or onto the sponsons off deck. Hyuga still has a pair of lifts down the middle of the ship.

In reality, the Japanese calling the Hyuga's and Izumo's 'DDH's' is essentially the same trick as the British calling the Invincible class carriers 'through-deck cruisers'. Pure political considerations on the Japanese part to advertise these ships as being destroyers, not aircraft carriers.

[Edited 2013-08-07 10:44:59]
 
rfields5421
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:40 pm

What is surprising about Japan moving more toward offensive capability?

The government has been open about the need to extend the range of their 'self defense' capabilities for many years. The ability to confront North Korea on Korean soil has been cited as a valid self-defense capability.

While the conditions imposed on the Japanese almost 70 years ago have been followed - the world changes, and so does the role of each nation.

To expect Japan to comply not only with the letter but also the spirit of those conditions is unrealistic in today's world.
 
sprout5199
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:10 am

Good for them. Nice looking LHA. I bet it will be doing joint "relief" exercises with the US LHA's in the near future. And I bet for some reason the elevators and hangars are "just" big enough to fit the F-35.

Dan in Jupiter
 
Oroka
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:06 am

While considered an 'aircraft carrier', the LHA is really a different beast. Warfare has changed, needs have changed.

While yes, F-35s could operate off these 'carriers', does that make the Atlantic Conveyor from the Falklands war a 'carrier'?


 
Kiwirob
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:23 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 2):
Pure political considerations on the Japanese part to advertise these ships as being destroyers, not aircraft carriers.

Until they have aircraft to carry they are what the Jap's call them destroyers.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:30 am

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 4):
Good for them. Nice looking LHA. I bet it will be doing joint "relief" exercises with the US LHA's in the near future. And I bet for some reason the elevators and hangars are "just" big enough to fit the F-35.

Some of the design changes to Izumo was reportedly in response to improving fixed wing operations compared to the Hyuga's, such as the V-22 and F-35B. Of course, the Japanese won't confirm this.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:02 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 7):
Some of the design changes to Izumo was reportedly in response to improving fixed wing operations compared to the Hyuga's, such as the V-22 and F-35B. Of course, the Japanese won't confirm this.

Well currently the JSDF do not have any F-35B's on order, only F-35A's. Of that could be changed in the future but for now at least, none of the on order F-35's could operate from this ship.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:42 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 8):
Well currently the JSDF do not have any F-35B's on order, only F-35A's. Of that could be changed in the future but for now at least, none of the on order F-35's could operate from this ship.

Tugg

However, Hyuga has cross decked with the USMC and has had V-22's fly off of her. I would not be surprised if USMC F-35B's fly off on Izumo in the future.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:50 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 2):
Indeed, but the configuration of the early DDH's were more destroyer than aircraft carrier. The configuration of the most recent Japanese 'DDH's' are more aircraft carrier than anything else. The latest gen Japanese DDH's emphasize aviation over onboard weapons. Witness the evolution:

Nice sequence of pics. Being a non-military man myself that Izumo class sure looks like an aircraft carrier to me.

And weren't the Soviet ships refered to as "heavy aviation cruisers"?

I guess politically speaking, calling them destroyers is less sensitive than calling them aircraft carriers. And regardless of whether or not the Japanese will order F-35B's doesn't it make sense to have your assets at least partially inter operative with the assets of your major military ally?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:37 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 10):

And weren't the Soviet ships refered to as "heavy aviation cruisers"?

That was so the Russians could circumvent the Turkish law banning aircraft carriers from transiting the Bosphorus.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:27 pm

She really does more resemble an LHA/LHD than a current modern "aircraft carrier". Of course the lines now on that are very blurred as modern ones are often the sizes of older carriers and with VSTOL aircraft they can cover many similar operations of a carrier. Still a LHA/LHD is an offensive element overall, used to project power and forces to a forward location. So they can't call it that either.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
sprout5199
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:17 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
While yes, F-35s could operate off these 'carriers', does that make the Atlantic Conveyor from the Falklands war a 'carrier'?

In my book, YES. The ability to operate fixed wing aircraft makes it a carrier. That being said, I served on an FFG (Guided Missile Frigate) in the late 80's, and there was a story that said that a FFG was operating in the Pacific with a amphib BG and was outer radar picket. Well a USMC Harrier had some trouble and couldn't make it back to the LHA, and was told to eject and the FFG would get him. Well as the "story" goes, the CO of the FFG asked if the Harrier could land on its flight deck, saving the plane. The pilot said "I'll try" and did in fact land on the flight deck of the FFG. Blew all the non-skid off and so forth but made the landing. Was chained down until the FFG went back to port. So the plane was saved. Not sure its true, but a good sea story, esp. for a FFG sailor. So following my rules, an FFG is an aircraft carrier.   FFG's are the SH!T, who needs DDG's or CG's. Can you tell I am a "bit" biased.

Dan in Jupiter
 
GDB
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:35 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
While yes, F-35s could operate off these 'carriers', does that make the Atlantic Conveyor from the Falklands war a 'carrier'?

No, as it was not a warship as built but a hastily modified aircraft ferry, the Harriers and choppers would only fly to it and to leave it for deployment elsewhere, not operate from it. To me, an aircraft carrier operates aircraft.

Had say HMS Bulwark still been operational in 1982 that would likely have been used in the same role instead of a converted merchant ship. Though being an ASW and Commando Carrier it could have operated it's air group too.
But after inspection it was found to be in too poor a condition, having been retired over a year before after suffering a spate of mechanical problems including a fire.
 
Oroka
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RE: Japan Launches New Mini-carrier

Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:52 am

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 13):
In my book, YES. The ability to operate fixed wing aircraft makes it a carrier.

But that would make any barge with a flat deck an aircraft carrier. Every oil rig, every cruise ship with a helipad... I would think it would fall under the definition of a austere airfield, be it a man made floating one.

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