Last week Japan launched the first in a new class of destroyers. Named Akizuki, this class was formally known as 19DD and apparently an evolution of the Takanami-class destroyers. Xinhua had an article in Chinese, which Google translated. Don’t try too hard to read it, just skim. We’ll piece it all together afterwards:

Comprehensive Japanese media sources, the Japanese in the 21st century battlefield and a new generation of advanced design and manufacture of self-19DD-class destroyers of the first naval vessel – “Moon” number (hull number DD-115) on October 13, 2010 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard.

19DD destroyer of the standard displacement of 5,000 tons, full load displacement of 6,800 tons, maximum speed of up to 30 knots, a crew of 200. ”Autumn Moon” Japanese guided missile destroyer equipped with the latest advanced technology developed combat system (ATECS), which spent 20 years in Japan developed the 5th generation of carrier-based battle command systems. ATECS and “Aegis” with similar characteristics, is a combination of phased array radar and high-speed data processing technology integrated shipboard combat command system, also known as the Japanese version of “Aegis.”

It is understood that the reason why this 5000-ton destroyer class ship named 19DD because the first ship of this class is Heisei 19 year (calendar 2007) fiscal year defense budget is approved, the plans to build two fiscal 2008, fiscal 2009 construction of the first three and four, plan the construction of 4 total. Every ship 19DD plans to build five-class destroyers, and finally enter service in Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), the first ship commissioned in 2011, the second ship in service in 2012.The third and fourth vessels planned fleet service in 2013. July 17, 2009, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Nagasaki 19DD-class destroyers for the first one held a shop keel ceremony.

19DD-class destroyers built for the purpose of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force “at the” class helicopter carrier, and “King Kong” class destroyers to provide a layer of defense forces around to make them immune to attack from the water and air, so that they can concentrate on completing their ballistic missile defense mission.

Mitsubishi Nagasaki shipyard belonging to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is a Japanese company, is one of the core Mitsubishi Group, is also Japan’s largest Jungongshengchan enterprises. Since 2003, the Defense Agency to accept military orders amounted to 280 billion yen, ranking first in each military enterprises. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the predecessor of the New Year can be traced back to between the Meiji Restoration. In 1884, Mitsubishi founder Iwasaki Yataro province from the government leased the Nagasaki Shipbuilding and Industry Bureau, will be named Nagasaki Shipyard in 1917, the enterprise was renamed Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., after the development of the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.. To 1934, the company’s business has extended to heavy machinery, aircraft, railway vehicles, the company changed its name to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.. To become involved in shipbuilding, aircraft production and engine manufacturing operations of the integrated companies, many owned factories in Japan. (Author: Pei Shen) (Link)

All pretty good info, all things considering, although I think there was a translation error and the “King Kong” destroyer is actually the Kongo-class destroyer. Naming a destroyer “King Kong” is a great idea, but somehow I doubt the MSDF would go for it. The 5000t Destroyer page on Wikipedia has also been recently updated. (For one thing, the name “Nobita” is gone.) Drawing on all available sources, including a thread on militaryphotos.net, Akizuki looks like this:

- Akizuki, “Autumn Moon”, DD-115.
- Launched at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipyard in Nagasaki.
- First of five ships of the class to be built.
- To be commissioned in 2011, followed by the second ship in 2012, third and fourth to be commissioned in 2013.
- Displacement: 5,000 tons, fully loaded 6,800 tons.
- Maximum speed: 30 knots
- Electronics:  OPS-20C search radar, OYQ-11 ACDS, FCS-3 AAW System, OQQ-22 ASW System, NOLQ-3D EW System
- Armament: 1 Mk. 45 5″ gun,  4 x 2 sets of Type 90 anti-ship missiles, 32 vertical launch silos for missiles (Enhanced Sea Sparrow, ASROC), 2 triple tube HOS-303 324mm torpedo mounts
- Aviation complement: 2 SH-60 helicopters
- Equipped with ATECS battle command system
- Meant as an escort for Hyuga and 22DDH helicopter destroyers and JMSDF BMD destroyers (Atago, Kongo-class)

Photo via user Shinigami at militaryphotos.net.

Rear view of Akizuki. Photo via user Shinigami at militaryphotos.net

According to militaryphotos.net user Shinigami, the original design was fairly conventional, as far as destroyers go:

NOTE: following section has been revised with corrections.

 

In 2007, after blueprints for the first ship had been completed, the first design pictured below was proposed. The design implemented quite a few changes, with additional room for a UAV in the aircraft hangar and a UUV in the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat storage area.  Point defense went from Phalanx 1B to SeaRAM. The original design also called for more stealthy features, particularly the mast and a forward gun that recessed into a stealthy enclosure. Cost was projected at JPY85 billion. The design was not approved.

In 2009, the second design pictured below was proposed. Note the electronics mast is less stealthy, the 5″ gun enclosure was done away with, and Phalanx 1B was back. This design change was also not approved.

Early 19DD designs.

Ultimately, the design of Akizuki was left unchanged from the original:

 

Here’s a picture of the Takanami-class, for comparison purposes.

Takanami-class. Creative Commons photo, Flckr user jimmyweeee

Per unit cost, for the first vessel, is $920 million dollars. That is kind of pricey, considering a 40,000 ton American LHD can be had for $2.3 billion, or about 2 1/2 times as much.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch