Business & Defence

Japan To Build Two 20,000-Ton Missile Defence Warship

Story Highlights
  • Hamada said that the Defense Ministry was speeding up the process of buying the two destroyers so that they could be put into service faster than usual.
  • MiG-29K fighters, Kamov-31 and MH-60R multi-role helicopters, and Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy) are among the 30 aircraft that will be part of the carrier's air wing.

Last week, government officials said that Japan’s Ministry of Defense wants to build two ballistic missile defence ships. These ships would be among the largest warships Japan has had since World War II.

As part of its budget request for FY23, the Ministry of Defense listed design costs and engines for the two Aegis BMD ships among 100 items for which there was no clear cost at the time the budget was released. The Ministry of Defense wants to spend $39.7 billion in the next fiscal year, which is more than the $38.4 billion budget for FY 2022.

USNI News said at the time that the two ships would be built instead of the land-based Aegis Ashore installations, which the Japanese Self-Defense Force decided against in 2020 because missile parts could fall to the ground.

Then-Minister of Defense Taro Kono told reporters, “Given the cost and time [needed] for the deployment, we will stop the process.”
“For the time being, Aegis-equipped destroyers will keep us able to defend against missiles.”

The two Aegis destroyers are expected to weigh about 20,000 tonnes and be 690 feet long and 130 feet wide. This will make them one of the biggest and heaviest ships that the JMSDF will use. The Izumo class helicopter destroyers have a displacement of 19,800 tonnes and a length of 800 feet and a beam of 124 feet, while the Maya class destroyers, which are Japan’s biggest, have a displacement of 8,200 tonnes and a beam of 22.2 metres.

The ships will have a crew of 110 people, and the living space for those people will be improved so that they can stay on station around Japan for a long time. USNI News thinks that the Ministry of Defense wants the first ship to be put into service in 2027 and the second in 2028.

Japan’s current Defense Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said at a news conference on Friday that two new ships would take over the BMD task from the country’s eight Aegis destroyers. This would free up the eight Aegis destroyers to act as a deterrent against maritime incursions in the southwest of Japan.

Two Maya-class, two Atago-class, and four Kongo-class destroyers make up the eight JMSDF Aegis destroyers that are in use right now. Hamada said that because North Korea was improving its ballistic missile capabilities, such as being able to launch more than one missile at the same time and sending them higher into the air, a new ship with better intercepting capabilities was needed.

Hamada said that the two destroyers would be big enough to be able to work in bad weather, and that the crew quarters would be made better so that the ships could go on longer deployments. The head of the Japanese military’s defence department also said that the ships would be able to stop hypersonic glide weapons.

Hamada said that the Defense Ministry was speeding up the process of buying the two destroyers so that they could be put into service faster than usual.

He said, “We think it’s a very important plan to dramatically improve our defence capabilities in the next five years.”

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