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ARMED FORCES OF THE WORLD: The Mighty Japanese Navy
Strategy Page ^ | February 19, 2005 | Harold C. Hutchison

Posted on 02/19/2005 12:35:54 PM PST by BroncosFan

ARMED FORCES OF THE WORLD: The Mighty Japanese Navy

February 19, 2005: The JMSDF (Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force) is arguably the second-best navy in the Pacific, trailing only the United States Navy. The JMSDF has a large number modern surface combatants and the third-largest submarine force among Pacific naval powers, and it could be a potential player in any fight across the Formosa Strait due to the fact that Japan’s ties with Taiwan have become much closer.

The primary surface vessels in the JMSDF are the destroyers. Japan’s had a long tradition of building a superb destroyer force – in World War II, their destroyers were arguably the best in the world. The best destroyers in the JMSDF are the Kongo-class DDGs. These 7,250-ton ships carry 90 vertical-launch cells for SM-2MR missiles (with a range of 111 kilometers), and are equipped with the Aegis system. They are, in essence, copies of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in U.S. Navy service, with a few small exceptions (no Tomahawk capability, an Italian 5-inch gun, and some Japanese electronics). It is probably the best surface combatant outside the United States Navy. Japan also has a smaller force of older guided-missile destroyers, the Hatakaze and Tachikaze classes. These two destroyer classes are roughly equivalent to the Charles F. Adams-class destroyers. Japan also has four helicopter-carrying destroyers, primarily used for anti-submarine warfare.

Two other modern destroyer classes are entering service: The Murasame (4,550 tons) and Takanami-class (4,600 tons) destroyers both have vertical-launch cells, but both primarily focus on anti-submarine warfare. They usually carry a mix of vertically-launched ASROC and Sea Sparrow missiles. The two ship classes will comprise fourteen ships total. The major difference between the two ship classes are their main guns. The Murasame has a 76mm gun, the Takanami, a 5-inch gun. Two other classes of destroyer, the Asagiri and Hatsuyuki are also present in strength (20 ships between the two of them).

Japan’s other major asset is its large force of advanced diesel-electric submarines (eighteen subs). The Yuushio, Harushio, and Oyashiro classes displace anywhere from 2,450 tons to 3,000 tons. Each carry six 21-inch torpedo tubes, with a total of 20 weapons (either Harpoon anti-ship missiles or Type 89 torpedoes). These subs would be a potent force against the Chinese Navy.

The JMSDF has some problems. Training is difficult, since Japan’s waters have many commercial fishing and merchant vessels. Japan is usually able to squeeze in only about ten days of training for mine warfare, when fishing is not so good. The JMSDF also is short on underway replenishment vessels – a total of four such ships are available to refuel forty-seven destroyers. The new submarines have also been expensive ($500 million apiece), a problem when the Japanese Constitution limits defense spending to one percent of Japan’s Gross National Product. Similarly, the Kongos were built to mercantile standards to save money – which means they cannot take as much damage as a Burke-class destroyer. Furthermore, Japan’s efforts to build an aircraft carrier have run into opposition. The official design for the replacement for the Haruna and Shirane-class DDHs have shown a full superstructure and forward and aft helicopter pads. However, alternative designs have looked like a small aircraft carrier. At 13,500 tons, these are not much smaller than an Independence-class light carrier from World War II.

The JMSDF also has problems with political support. Often, Japan’s security needs (such as the ability to protect oceangoing trade) have been subordinated to concerns about whether a posture is too aggressive. This has gone back to 1981, when proposals to ensure defense of sea lanes was controversial – despite Japan’s experience under submarine blockade in World War II. Also, Japan’s had problems getting sufficient personnel – it has been under authorized strength in the past (a shortfall of 3.5 percent existed in 1992). Ultimately, Japan’s ability to overcome the political issues and to get an adequate number of trained personnel will determine how well it can carry out its mission of defending Japan. – Harold C. Hutchison (hchutch@ix.netcom.com)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; destroyers; japan; jmsdf; koizumi; pacific; taiwan; usnavy
The longer PM Koizumi sticks around, the better.
1 posted on 02/19/2005 12:35:58 PM PST by BroncosFan
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To: BroncosFan

Bump..


2 posted on 02/19/2005 12:50:35 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: BroncosFan

No picts? I wanted to see fish swimming out of their portholes!


3 posted on 02/19/2005 12:52:09 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: BroncosFan

Bump..


4 posted on 02/19/2005 12:52:17 PM PST by jokar (On line data base http://www.trackingthethreat.com/db/index.htm)
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To: BroncosFan

Do you post articles of this sort (asia-pacific military matters)? If you do, please put me on your ping list.


5 posted on 02/19/2005 12:58:28 PM PST by gaijin
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To: BroncosFan

agreed........he knows which side his sushi is buttered on...I heard a great critique on the Chinese Navy by that ambassador turned Fellow at a righty think tank.......he basically said they have numbers but are really crap on the seas and haven't had a major engagement on the oceans since one of those long ago dynasty's......said the U.S. could take them in a matter of weeks easily......


6 posted on 02/19/2005 1:00:46 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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7 posted on 02/19/2005 1:04:58 PM PST by Grzegorz 246
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To: NorCalRepub

I actually tried to remember the last time the Chinese Navy had a victory, and couldn't think of one offhand.

The last time they saw combat was being crushed by the Japanese in 1895.

What you heard from the ambassador conforms to what I've heard from various naval types; including some that have been on PRC warships; they look pretty "sloppy."


8 posted on 02/19/2005 1:11:25 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: NorCalRepub

True for now, IF we have the will, IF we're not distracted elsewhere, IF it isn't already over by the time we arrive on scene in sufficient numbers, IF we don't get dissuaded by a few early setbacks. The center of gravity lies in Foggy Bottom, not in the Straits. Remember, the Falklands didn't start off well at all for the Brits. They lost the islands, lost the Sheffield and other picket destroyers, and took several weeks to get in the game. How will we react if things unfold in a similar manner? Especially if there's a new Democrat president. And what if we're tied up in Venezuela or Iran?


9 posted on 02/19/2005 1:13:28 PM PST by BroncosFan ("It's worse than a crime - it's a mistake." Talleyrand.)
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To: BroncosFan

that is alot ofr "if's".....just talking about the comparison of the arsenals at sea and how we logistically we could take those little guys all things being equal


10 posted on 02/19/2005 1:15:44 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: Strategerist

plus I heard that their primary missles and such were just not on par though their ships are fairly modern......I'll bet not a whole lot better than Russia in the later stages of their arms race...


11 posted on 02/19/2005 1:17:37 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: BroncosFan

12 posted on 02/19/2005 1:22:52 PM PST by Saberwielder
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To: BroncosFan

One Clinton legacy we need to be grateful for is the rearming of Japan. Before Clinton came on the scene, Japan largely entrusted their protection to the U.S. military. Once it became clear that Clinton was owned by the ChiComs, Japan was morivated to build a military worthy of the world's second biggest economy.


13 posted on 02/19/2005 1:39:51 PM PST by Vigilanteman (crime would drop like a sprung trapdoor if we brought back good old-fashioned hangings)
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To: Saberwielder
Google will oblige:

 

 

 

The way Clancy had the Japanese navy disable two nuclear carriers and sink a US sub in Debt of Honor was actually believable.  And then the turnabout when we got our own back was a great exercise in how we would answer asymmetric warfare, as long as we could identify who the bad guys were.

14 posted on 02/19/2005 1:53:41 PM PST by Phsstpok ("When you don't know where you are, but you don't care, you're not lost, you're exploring.")
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To: BroncosFan

You missed the big 'if': IF the Chinese don't shut down the US retail economy by embargo.


15 posted on 02/19/2005 1:56:01 PM PST by Grut
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To: Saberwielder
Google will oblige:

 

 

 

The way Clancy had the Japanese navy disable two nuclear carriers and sink a US sub in Debt of Honor was actually believable.  And then the turnabout when we got our own back was a great exercise in how we would answer asymmetric warfare, as long as we could identify who the bad guys were.

16 posted on 02/19/2005 1:58:23 PM PST by Phsstpok ("When you don't know where you are, but you don't care, you're not lost, you're exploring.")
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To: Saberwielder

AEGIS destroyer "KONGO"


Launch of SeaSparrow


"PG launching SSM"


5 inch caliber rapid fire


Submarine Tender "CHIYODA"


UH-60J rescue helicopter


EP-3 multipurpose aircraft


SH-60J training submarine searching operations


In 1967, at the Ishikawajima Harima Shipyard, this obsession of loading their largest destroyer "to the teeth" was seen in the TAKATSUKI class destroyer (seen at left). While only 3100 tons standard, the TAKATSUKI class destroyer had the same weaponry that U.S. Destroyers of double the tonnage would contain including 3-aircraft DASH capability, ASROC with reload capability, Weapon Alpha as well as two MK-32 Triple Torpedo tubes and one four-tube BOFORS ASW launcher. Yet, while this ASW obsession-philosophy even reached down to smaller Japanese torpedo boats which were equipped with dipping sonars, sonobuoys as well as ASW torpedoes, the threat from the air was relatively ignored using only obsolete 3-inch/50 caliber guns. This was due to the overriding mission being to keep the sea-lanes clear of submarines as Japan imported almost all of the raw materials its economy required and still does. Even though the new Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force had become by 1970, the 10th most powerful Navy in the World -end snip-

17 posted on 02/19/2005 2:05:42 PM PST by demlosers
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To: Saberwielder
THE JMSDF AND DASH The JMSDF stands out as having made the DASH Weapon System work to a success rate the U.S. Navy simply did not attain. By June 1, 1970 the U.S. Navy stated that of the original 746 QH-50C/D drone helicopters originally built for the U.S. DASH program, 411 aircraft had been lost. The JMSDF, however, which announced their DASH program launch in 1963, attained a success rate unheard of in the U.S. Navy.

When the U.S. Navy's DASH program was in full operation, the U.S. Navy loaned the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) three QH-50C drones under the Military Assistance Program (MAP) and sold the JMSDF a single D model aircraft in 1965 to see if DASH could bolster the JMSDF's ASW capabilities. The C model serial numbers were DS-1278, DS-1279 and DS-1280. The D model was DS-1494.

With a dual torpedo delivery capability in any weather, a 45 mile delivery range and the close proximity to Soviet Union (USSR) Naval Bases, the Japanese were very interested in the DASH concept. After testing, the JMSDF purchased 16 additional aircraft from Gyrodyne in 1967 (All D models) through the Nissho-Iwai Trading company, with the final delivery in September 1971. They were serial numbers J-1 through J-16. Above left, QH-50C, number DS-1279, flies for the first time on November 15, 1966 from the training base at Eta Jima, Japan; the JMSDF training facility. By March 31 1971,The JMSDF had flown over 1,440 hours. By September of 1971, SEVEN Japanese Destroyers were flying DASH, with a success rate of 360 hours mean time before failure (MTBF) which was twice the U.S. Navy's over-all record. Yet this success was not by accident.

The Japanese success with their DASH program can be seen in the different manner in which the JMSDF managed their DASH program. The primary difference was the length of time the JMSDF personnel stayed with the program. Capt. Robert H. Beyer USNR (ret), Gyrodyne's then Director for International Operations, who worked with the JMSDF for over six and one half years, stated that personal whom he knew in 1966 were still with the program in 1971. Compare this to the U.S. Navy it was not at all unusual to have a DASH Officer "come and go" through a specific DASH command within six months. Further, there were instances on U.S. Naval destroyers where the senior enlisted man in a DASH group was a 3rd class Petty Officer. The Japanese treated their DASH operation with much more prestige as the commanding Officer of the Training School was a full Captain with full commanders as maintenance and training officers. As far as assignments on Ship, further distinctions were seen. In the U.S. Navy program, the DASH group was comprised of one officer and four enlisted men. Of the 4 enlisted men, at least two in the billet had aviation ratings yet all in the billet were assigned regular shipboard duties with their DASH assignment considered secondary or collateral as the needs of the ship determined priority.

On a JMSDF destroyer, DASH assignments were considered primary duty with other shipboard assignments considered collateral. Further, Japanese technicians would meticulously wash and wax all drones before returning them to their hangars. Capt. Beyer stated that, "When you looked at a Japanese bird, it looked like it just came from the factory -even though it might be three years old. By contrast, I've been aboard some U.S. Destroyers whose birds had corrosion like icicles!". In fact, the U.S. Navy's CRUDESPAC (Commander, cruisers, destroyers-pacific fleet) instituted a program to remove DASH drones and have the them decontaminated by a Japanese contractor (Shinmewa Industries).

-end snip-
http://www.gyrodynehelicopters.com/jmsdf_destroyers.htm

18 posted on 02/19/2005 2:20:40 PM PST by demlosers
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To: BroncosFan

Are we playing the "Japan Card" to stop China from saber rattling?


19 posted on 02/19/2005 2:23:08 PM PST by sergeantdave (Smart growth is Marxist insects agitating for a collective hive.)
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To: Strategerist; BroncosFan

The last PLAN victory was more recent than that.They had a series of clashes with the Vietnamese navy in the 1980s & a pretty big one in 1988,when they sank a handful of Vietnamese gunboats.


20 posted on 02/19/2005 9:00:50 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: Phsstpok; BroncosFan

While Japanese subs might still be ahead of Chinese ones in sensors,the gap is closing somewhat.For one,the PLAN is planning to install AIP on it's new Kilo class subs,massively increasing submerged endurance-Im not sure if Japan has yet installed AIP on it's boats.Then they are acquiring the Klub cruise missile for their Kilos & possibly Song class,which is supersonic & comes in land attack as well as anti-ship variants,it looks better than the Harpoon on paper.Most importantly,the electronics gap will close when the EU lifts it's arms embargo.Italy,France & Germany build excellent sonars & ECCM & China has enough D/Es & N-subs to install them on.


Phsstpok,
Wasn't it disabling 2 carrier & sinking 2 attack subs in Debt of Honour??Anyway,I stopped reading Clancy ages ago-it's always the same bland scenario,based on his atrociously substandard knowledge of global politics.


21 posted on 02/19/2005 9:10:42 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Was that the Mischief Reef dustup? Or did that involve Filipino ships?


22 posted on 02/19/2005 9:42:26 PM PST by BroncosFan ("It's worse than a crime - it's a mistake." Talleyrand.)
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To: BroncosFan

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/spratly-clash.htm

It was about the Spratley islands all right.


23 posted on 02/19/2005 10:12:34 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Thanks for the nice "China Defense Today link." That site 'twas news to me. Dale Brown had a silly book about the Spratleys years back. Events have superseded it, but it gives one the lay of the land.

Question: what's the best guess on the number of DF-31s in the PRC's arsenal? After all, road-mobile solid-fuel MIRV-capable launchers are the wet dream of any aspiring great power. The Cox Report seemed to dance a bit on this issue. But, re: secure second strike capabilities, it seems a rather key issue.

24 posted on 02/19/2005 10:37:17 PM PST by BroncosFan ("It's worse than a crime - it's a mistake." Talleyrand.)
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To: BroncosFan

Oops,I forgot to add that you should take a bucket of salt with you while visiting Sinodefence-they do exxagerate stuff a weebit.

About the number of weapons,no one is sure.Western sources will underestimate any threat,Chinese ones will overestimate it!!


25 posted on 02/19/2005 10:45:14 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: BroncosFan
Kongo-class


26 posted on 02/19/2005 10:49:38 PM PST by Plutarch
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To: sukhoi-30mki
. . . welcome to the wide wonderful world of intel.

"The bad guys have somewhere between 1-25 really bad things."

27 posted on 02/19/2005 10:51:54 PM PST by BroncosFan ("It's worse than a crime - it's a mistake." Talleyrand.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
No picts?


28 posted on 02/19/2005 10:56:52 PM PST by Plutarch
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To: gaijin
Do you post articles of this sort (asia-pacific military matters)? If you do, please put me on your ping list.<

I agree. An asia ping list would be nice.

29 posted on 02/20/2005 5:47:50 AM PST by Paul_Denton (The UN is UN-American! Get the UN out of the US and US out of the UN!)
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To: Strategerist
I actually tried to remember the last time the Chinese Navy had a victory, and couldn't think of one offhand.

Kind of like the french LOL.

30 posted on 02/20/2005 5:48:49 AM PST by Paul_Denton (The UN is UN-American! Get the UN out of the US and US out of the UN!)
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To: Strategerist
Do not ignore the fact that the Chinese not only have considerable holdings at either end of the Panama Canal, which with a little forethought, could make shifting US Naval assets more difficult, but also have a growing presence in this hemisphere.

This could alter any scenario somewhat in their favor, especially if they were to render the canal impassable during a protracted conflict.

When Chinese troops were sent into Haiti to keep the peace and 'help' with hurricaine cleanup this past season, where were they deployed from?

To underestimate their capability would be a mistake. Maybe the units are not so good, (maybe they are--no one has fought the Chinese Navy under Communist Chinese rule), but their strategic thinking will probably not be flawed to the point where they do not take this into consideration.

Two important reads come to mind: Sun Tsu: The Art of War, and Mao Tse Tung on Guerilla Warfare.

Understand the philosophy, and that total war is more than military confrontation, and any increase in their overt naval capability becomes suspect.

Communism was not just the Soviet Union, and we ignore the Chinese at our peril.

31 posted on 02/20/2005 6:06:01 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (Better get it done now, might not be able to after '08 (repeal GCA of '68, NFA of '34))
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To: Paul_Denton

I think the last time the Chinese had a truly great navy was...the fifteenth century, when the Emperor commissioned the creation of a large navy to increase trade with India and the Far East. At that time, Chinese ships were the most modern in the world, in many ways hundreds of years ahead of what the West had. For some mysterious reason, the huge navy was dismantled and the ships were never used again.


32 posted on 02/20/2005 6:13:15 AM PST by WestVirginiaRebel ("Senator, we can have this discussion in any way that you would like.")
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To: BroncosFan
At 13,500 tons, these are not much smaller than an Independence-class light carrier from World War II.

A meaningless statistic. The great increase in the size of carrier aircraft since WWII means a ship of this size has very little potential as an "aircraft carrier". Even the small VTOL carriers of the Brits are over 20,000 tons.

33 posted on 02/20/2005 2:02:31 PM PST by GATOR NAVY (Back at sea on my sixth gator)
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To: Paul_Denton; gaijin; TigerLikesRooster

TigerLikesRooster has a good East Asian ping list.


34 posted on 02/20/2005 2:05:56 PM PST by GATOR NAVY (Back at sea on my sixth gator)
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To: GATOR NAVY

Thailand's Spanish built V/STOL carrier,weighs little around 15,000 tonnes,while the Spanish & Italian carriers are something like 17,000 tonnes.The Thai carrier was slated to carry around 6 Harriers & 6 Seahawks.You could expect the Japanese ship to be modified to take something like 4-6 F-35s(& helos).Afterall,it's not mean't to be a dedicated carrier,but rather an amphibious assault ship.Most importantly,the Japanese are still thinking about the aircraft carrier option & haven'nt finalised anything.


35 posted on 02/20/2005 8:32:11 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki


Maybe we should sell the Japanese our old carriers instead of turning them into museums. I know boy scouts love em, but I think that would be a better use. When is the JFK or Kitty hawk going to be replaced?


36 posted on 02/21/2005 1:38:09 PM PST by Righty_McRight
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To: Righty_McRight

The new budget wants to yank the JFK ASAP. Stupid, considering our effective carrier force at any given time must be reduced by the whichever ships are laid up for 14 month refurbishments.


37 posted on 02/21/2005 2:29:35 PM PST by BroncosFan ("It's worse than a crime - it's a mistake." Talleyrand.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

True, I totally forgot about the navies you mentioned.


38 posted on 02/21/2005 3:37:03 PM PST by GATOR NAVY (Back at sea on my sixth gator)
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To: BroncosFan
When it comes to the Japanese Navy, Cheech and Chong doing the story about the Kamikaze pilots is still the best.

You flyers of Imperial Japanese Navy.

Your mission is to take your planes, fly into bridge of American ships, sink them and win war for Glorious Japanese Empire.

Are there any questions?

Yes, Osaki in the back row!

"Sir. Are you out of your F***ing mind?"

39 posted on 02/21/2005 3:42:55 PM PST by N. Theknow
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To: Righty_McRight

I think the JFK & the Kittyhawk will both be mothballed in the next 3 years.Anyway selling those carriers to a navy the size of Japan would be more a blunder than a masterstroke.For one,unlike the carrier Russia is selling to India,those 2 carriers have served for a LONG time in the USN,so you could call them a bit worn out.Moreover,Japan hasn't operated a carrier for ages,so suddenly acquiring a ship of over 70,000 tonnes is a logistical nightmare & providing escorts for it won't be easier.Not to forget that any Big carrier Japan acquires won't be fully safe either with China buying up more anti-ship missiles than anyone.While it would make sense for Japan to buy one of Great Britain's Invincible class ships(which were reportedly offered to India & S.Korea),the best way is to go it alone & build a multi-role light carrier,which is meant for amphibious assault & then proceed to a medium carrier.


40 posted on 02/21/2005 7:54:31 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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