Why is Japanese Navy the best in Asia? For the answer, we will not have to look far. Japan was struck by 9.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011, on March 11. Hiromi Takashima, vice admiral commandant of the Yokosuka Naval immediately ordered all the available ships to earthquake zone which was in the North. The first ship help took only 45 minutes to move to the rescue point. The next seventeen ships with relief materials took just 18 hours to depart. This shows the efficiency of Japan’s Navy.
Japan’s Navy has a total 114 number of warships and about 45,800 volunteer personnel. There are fast, powerful destructors, large modern diesel-electric assault submarines, and amphibious ships that can suppress tanks and other ground forces. It can hunt submarines, clash against the invading fleet, and the enemy ballistic missiles can be shot. Simply, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force is designed to overcome the constitutional limits on Armed forces.
MSDF has the fleet of 46 destroyers and frigates which are more than UK and France. Japan’s tin-can Navy is designed in such a way that can defend the country from invasion by keeping the sea lanes open.
Japan has Kongo class of guided missile destroyers which are most powerful and the four ships- Kongo, Kirishima, Chokai, and Myoko which are battleships. Kongo destroyers are based on the original American naval Arleigh Burke-class flight I vandalists. Like the Burke class, the ship’s heart is the Ages Combat System, which is able to track and engage in the dangers of regional security. It also provides a national ballistic missile defense system for Japan – just two Kongo can protect most of the country.
Japan’s Kongos carry SM-2 MR air defence missiles and SM-3 block IB ballistic missile interceptors, which will soon be replaced with new block IIA version. Destroyers also carry a five-inch main gun, eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, six antisubmarine torpedo tubes and two 20 millimeter Phalanx close-in weapon systems.
JS Izumo is another formidable Japanese ship and it is of 27000 tons completely loaded and eight hundred feet long with a full-length flight deck and an island for controlling flight operations. Japan calls the ship a helicopter destroyer which can carry up to 14 helicopters. These helicopters and their missions can be mined from antisubmarine war to helicopter airborne attack.
From this Izumo creates a flexible platform that is capable of carrying various tasks. Another ship of the class, Kaga, is currently under construction. MSDF’s another important component is Japan’s submarine force. Giving a tough competition to Chinese Navy, Japan is developing a force of 22 submarines. It will have two classes of submarines, the older and newer Oyashio class, and Soryu class.
Soryu is submerged 4,100 tons and is Japan’s largest submarines. It is laced with Stirling air-independent propulsion systems. Soryus is equipped with six 533 mm bow-mounted torpedo tubes, with a mix of twenty type 89 heavyweight homing torpedoes and US-made sub-Harpoon missiles. They can also lay mines to block many ships.
At last, the country has 3 Osumi-class tank landing ships which like a small aircraft carrier. It is 130 m long flight deck expanding the length of the ship. Though, it has no aircraft elevators and a hangar. It was designed to move Ground Self-Defence Force tanks between islands of the country to reinforce any of them against invasion.
Osumis are capable to carry the load of 1,400 tons of cargo, 14 type 10 or type 90 tanks, and approx one thousand ground troops. The US designed LCAC hovercraft is attached to it that make it allow to float out heavy equipment. This capability of Japan is especially useful in view of Japan’s new dynamic defense strategy, which demands amphibious force to withdraw the islands seized by a fictitious enemy of Japan.