Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.
JDS Izumo (DDH-183) is a helicopter carrier (officially classified by Japan as a helicopter destroyer) and the lead ship in the Izumo-class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Though able to carry up to 14 helicopters, critics including China argue it could be modified to use as a more standard aircraft carrier.
It has the following displacement and length
19,500 long tons (19,800 t) standard
27,000 long tons (27,000 t) full load
248 meters long (814 ft)
It has helicopters now but it would be relatively easy to get vertical take off jets. The US would love to sell Japan some F35Bs.
For other operations, 400 troops and fifty 3.5 ton trucks (or equivalent equipment) can also be carried.
It cost 113.9 billion yen (for construction of first unit to date). The second helicopter carrier will be done in 2015. Each of the ships then takes two years to fully commission.
Aircraft Carrier Plans of Russia, China and other Nations
Russia already has one aircraft carrier but it is assigned to the Atlantic and Mediterranian.
Russia is also trying to buy a small French aircraft carrier. Russia and Japan have a dispute over four islands at the end of the island chain off of Kamchatka.
On July 30, 2011, a senior researcher of the Academy of Military Sciences said China needed at least three aircraft carriers. “If we consider our neighbours, India will have three aircraft carriers by 2014 and Japan will have three carriers by 2014, so I think the number (for China) should not be less than three so we can defend our rights and our maritime interests effectively.” General Luo Yuan.
In July 2011, a Chinese official announced that two aircraft carriers were being built at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.
On 21 May 2012, Taiwan’s intelligence chief Tsai Teh-sheng told the Legislative Yuan that the PLA Navy plans to build two carriers, scheduled to start construction in 2013 and 2015 and launch in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
On 24 April 2013 Chinese Rear Admiral Song Xue confirmed that China will build more carriers and these will be larger and will carry more fighter-planes than the Liaoning
In 2004, India agreed to buy the Admiral Gorshkov from Russia for US$1.5 billion. It is named INS Vikramaditya, and was expected to join the Indian Navy in 2008 after a refit. However, after delays and cost overruns, the carrier is now scheduled to be handed over to India in last quarter of 2013, for an agreed price of US$2.35 billion
* INS Viraat: Centaur class carrier (ex-HMS Hermes) in service since 1987.
INS Vikramaditya : Modified Kiev class carrier (ex-Admiral Gorshkov) is expected to enter in service in December 2013.
INS Vikrant: 40,000 ton Vikrant class carrier. It is being built at Cochin Shipyard and is expected to enter service in 2017.
INS Vishal: 65,000 ton Vikrant-class carrier. Expected to enter service in 2022.
The LPX is a versatile amphibious warfare ship, and includes a well deck to accommodate Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) and two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), the first of which (LSF 631) was acquired in April 2007. The ship is 199 metres long, 31 metres wide, with a 14,000 ton (empty), or 18,000 ton (full) displacement and was also built incorporating stealth technologies. Its been said to be one of the most advanced vessels in the Asian Pacific.
The LPX can carry 720 marines (+300 crew members), 10 tanks, 10 trucks, 7 AAVs, three field artillery pieces, and two LCAC hovercraft capable of landing on enemy shores doing 40 knots (74 km/h)—a mix that enables it to launch troop landings from both sea and air. She can also carry 10 helicopters when there are no ground vehicles on her hangar deck.
The flight surface is also sprayed with urethane, which can support VTOL jets, like Harriers. South Korea is considering the purchase of F-35B fighters to operate from its Dokdo class ships
Here is the Thai Helicarrier next to the US Kitty Hawk
If you include Helicopter Carriers then the US has 19 aircraft carriers
* Nimitz class: ten 101,000 ton nuclear-powered supercarriers, the first of which was commissioned in 1975. A Nimitz-class carrier is powered by two nuclear reactors and four steam turbines and is 1,092 feet (333 m) long.
* USS Peleliu (LHA-5) a 40,000 ton amphibious assault ship, last of the Tarawa class, ships of this class have been used in wartime in their secondary mission as a light carriers with 20 AV-8B Harrier fighters after unloading their marine expeditionary unit.
* Wasp class a class of eight 41,000 ton amphibious assault ships, members of this class have been used in wartime in their secondary mission as light carriers in the with 20 to 25 AV-8B Harrier fighters after unloading their Marine expeditionary unit.
In 2009, War is Boring predicted that Japan would not have aircraft carriers anytime soon. They were wrong in that prediction.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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