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1 avril 2015 3 01 /04 /avril /2015 11:35
JDS Izumo DDH183 helicopter carrier - photo Japan MoD

JDS Izumo DDH183 helicopter carrier - photo Japan MoD


March 28, 2015 By Franz-Stefan Gady – The Diplomat


Japan now has all the building blocks to field a powerful carrier strike group.


This week, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force commissioned the JDS Izumo (DDH-183), a helicopter destroyer, in a ceremony at the JMSDF Yokosuka naval base in Yokohama.

The new carrier’s principal task, although touted as a multi-purpose vessel, will be anti-submarine warfare and command-and-control operations to protect Japanese territories in the East China Sea.

“This heightens our ability to deal with Chinese submarines that have become more difficult to detect,” one Japanese official noted. According to other  JMSDF officials, the ship will also be used for humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR) operations.

With a 27,000 tons displacement when fully loaded (some sources state 24,000 tons), the 248 m-long  Izumo-class helicopter carrier is the largest surface combatant in the Japanese fleet to date, and substantially bigger than its predecessor, the Hyūga-class, which yielded 19,000 tons.

The ship will have a crew of around 470 and also can carry up to 400 JSDF troops.  IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly notes about the vessels’s specifications:

Izumo is equipped with an OQQ-22 bow-mounted sonar for submarine prosecution while air defence is provided by two Raytheon RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile SeaRAM launchers and two Phalanx close-in weapon systems. (…)

[I]t can embark Sikorsky/Mitsubishi SH-60K Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopters and the Izumo class’s air wing will also include two airborne mine countermeasures versions of the Kawasaki Heavy Industries/AgustaWestland MCH-101 helicopter – JMSDF officials claim that the ship will be deployed mainly for border surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. (..) Officials in Tokyo have also suggested it will embark Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

The ship is designed to accommodate up to 14 helicopters (seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60k ASW helicopters and seven Agusta Westland MCM-101 mine countermeasure helicopters), five of which can simultaneously take off and land, given the Izumo’s large flight deck and five landing spots.

USNI News notes that the Izumo could also accommodate fixed wing aircraft – perhaps up to 27 total:

The ship would also be able to field American MV-22s and potentially the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), however Japanese defense officials have repeatedly said they have no plans to use the JSF on the Izumo.

The new carrier is slightly larger than other light carriers, such as the Italian Cavour and the Spanish Principe de Asturias – both of which carry fixed wing aircraft. Total costs of the ship are billed at about 120 billion yen ($1 billion), although they may be as high as $ 1.5 billion.

The naming of the vessel caused some controversy. “[T]he name Izumo itself has historical baggage: the original Izumo, an armored cruiser that participated in the Battle of Tsushima, was purchased with reparations from the first Sino-Japanese War. There is little doubt all parties, particularly the Chinese, are aware of the lineage,” one analyst noted.

The new carrier joined the MSDF’s Escort Flotilla 1 based in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. The JS Izumo’s sister ship, also constructed by the IHI Marine United Yokohama Shipyard (which already built the Hyūga-class helicopter destroyers), will be launched this August and is scheduled to be commissioned in March 2017.

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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 17:40
BPC Vladivostok photo T. Bregaris Ouest-France

BPC Vladivostok photo T. Bregaris Ouest-France


February 23, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


Construction on new facilities to accommodate the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet’s incoming Mistral-class helicopter carriers began in Vladivostok recently, according to the Russian publication RIA Novosti.


A Defence Ministry spokesman said that the the Uliss Bay naval base’s quay will be extended to 2,700 metres to accommodate the Mistrals, the ammunition loading area will be modernized, road and rail access to the base will be upgraded, and all electricity and communications systems will be replaced by October 2015, according to the report.


The first French-made Mistral, Vladivostok, is scheduled to be delivered to the Russian Navy in November this year, though the Pacific Fleet will not host the carriers before 2018, after acceptance trials are held.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 16:50
MOD seeks ideas to preserve HMS Illustrious

HMS Illustrious approaches Glen Mallan (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Keith Morgan, Crown copyright]


15 October 2013 Ministry of Defence


MOD is looking for ideas on how best to preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy's Invincible Class aircraft carriers.


The last of the ships, HMS Illustrious, is due to retire in late 2014 after 32 years of distinguished service that has seen her involved in operations around the world.

Following the announcement last year that the 22,000-tonne ship will be preserved in some form, MOD is now inviting private companies, charities and trusts who are interested in buying her to come forward with ideas for her future use.

HMS Illustrious is currently the UK’s high readiness helicopter and commando carrier, able to deploy Merlin, Chinook, Sea King, Lynx or Apache helicopters. She is currently in the Mediterranean as part of the Royal Navy’s Cougar 13 deployment of the UK’s Response Force Task Group.

The ship, which is 210 metres long, the equivalent of 18 double-decker buses, was involved in the First Gulf War and the conflict in Afghanistan in 2001, and supported evacuations from Sierra Leone in 2000 and Lebanon in 2006.

HMS Illustrious alongside at Portsmouth
HMS Illustrious alongside at Portsmouth Naval Base (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Paul A'Barrow, Crown copyright]

MOD wants HMS Illustrious to remain in the UK and bids for her future use must be viable and include plans for part or all of the ship to be developed for heritage purposes.

The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:

HMS Illustrious, like her 2 sister ships Invincible and Ark Royal, has provided an invaluable service to this country over more than 3 decades. This competition will provide the opportunity for organisations to put forward innovative and viable proposals to honour the role and history of this iconic class of ship and all those who served on board them.

Once proposals are received, an industry day will be held next year to discuss the ideas further. It is expected a final decision will be made after the ship is decommissioned and handed over to the Disposal Services Authority.

The UK’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, which will replace the Invincible Class ships, are currently under construction. HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is almost complete, will begin sea trials in 2017 before undertaking flight trials with the F-35 Lightning II aircraft in 2018.

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