DSCA notification sheds light on next-gen Japanese destroyers

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DSCA notification sheds light on next-gen Japanese destroyers
James Hardy, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
11 August 2015

The Japanese Ministry of Defense's Equipment Procurement and Construction Office released a schematic in mid-2015 showing the proposed 27DDG Aegis-equipped destroyer, which is believed to be an 8,200-tonne derivative of the Atago-class design. (Japanese Ministry of Defense)

The 7 August notification by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of a possible USD1.5 billion sale of two Aegis combat systems and other naval equipment to Japan has provided new details on the two-ship class of ballistic missile defence (BMD) destroyers that Tokyo is building.

The destroyers, tentatively called the 27DDG class based on 2015 being the 27th year of the reign of the current Japanese emperor, were authorised in the fiscal year 2013 and FY 2014 budgets and were originally thought to be modified Akizuki-class hulls with an empty displacement of about 5,000 tonnes.

However, the DSCA notification describes them as featuring "a modified Atago-class hull" and propulsion system, while a graphic included in a request for proposals (RfP) released by the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) to potential shipbuilders in July said that the new class will displace 8,200 tonnes (empty), compared with the Atago class's 7,700 tonnes.

The DSCA notification states they will feature the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) MK 7, which includes the Lockheed Martin SPY-1D radar, and supporting systems; AN/SQQ-89 (V) 15 Underwater Surveillance and Communication System; Multi-Function Towed Array (MFTA) and associated OK-410(V)3/SQR handling equipment; MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) and associated systems to support the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) BMD system; and a number of other systems that are already fitted to the Atago class.

New systems not featured on the Atago class to be provided by the US include the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band (NATO I-band) pulse-Doppler, frequency-agile fire control radar, which is also being installed on the Royal Australian Navy's Hobart-class air warfare destroyers.

According to the RfP released in July, the ships will also feature new anti-ship missiles and as previously reported will be the first JMSDF ships to be powered by a COGLAG configuration. The larger displacement of 8,200 tonnes may reflect plans for advanced weapon systems to be retrofitted to the class at a later date: MoD graphics in the fiscal year 2015 budget overview have suggested that electromagnetic railguns and laser-based short-range air defence systems are being developed.
DSCA notification sheds light on next-gen Japanese destroyers - IHS Jane's 360