Skip to comments.ARMED FORCES OF THE WORLD: The Mighty Japanese Navy
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 Japans ties with Taiwan have become much closer.
The primary surface vessels in the JMSDF are the destroyers. Japans 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).
Japans 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 Japans 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 Japans 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, Japans 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, Japans 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 Japans experience under submarine blockade in World War II. Also, Japans had problems getting sufficient personnel it has been under authorized strength in the past (a shortfall of 3.5 percent existed in 1992). Ultimately, Japans 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 (email@example.com)
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.
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.
Was that the Mischief Reef dustup? Or did that involve Filipino ships?
It was about the Spratley islands all right.
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.
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!!
"The bad guys have somewhere between 1-25 really bad things."
I agree. An asia ping list would be nice.
Kind of like the french LOL.
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.
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.
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.
TigerLikesRooster has a good East Asian ping list.
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.
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?
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.
True, I totally forgot about the navies you mentioned.
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?"
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.
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