Atago-class destroyer

The Atago class of guided missile destroyers (あたご型護衛艦 Atago-gata Goeikan) is an improved version of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)'s Kongō class.

JS Atago(DDG-177) in Tenpouzan Port 20140426-01
Atago in 2014
Class overview
Name: Atago class
Builders: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Operators:  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Preceded by: Kongō class
Subclasses: Maya class
  • ¥140 billion[1]
  • $1.48 billion (constant 2009 USD)
Built: 2004–2008
In commission: 2007–
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile destroyer
  • 7,700 tons standard
  • 10,000 tons full load
Length: 165 m (541 ft 4 in)[2]
Beam: 21 m (68 ft 11 in)
Draft: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 Rigid hull inflatable boat
Complement: 300
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 × SH-60K helicopter
Aviation facilities: Flight deck and enclosed hangar for one helicopter


JS Kongō with JS Ashigara while under construction at Mitsubishi in Nagasaki.

In 2000, the Japan Defense Agency Maritime Staff Office included another two Aegis ships in its five-year budget on top of the four Kongō-class destroyers originally ordered.

The Atago class is fundamentally an improved and scaled-up version of the Kongō-class destroyers. The class features large accommodation and the ships are capable of flexible operation. One of the most obvious changes is an additional hangar to carry one SH-60K helicopter. In comparison to the Kongō class/Arleigh Burke class (Flight I) which only had helicopter platforms (but no support equipment), these ships have better helicopter handling facilities. To enhance the Atago class' function as command centers, the bridge is two decks higher than aboard a Arleigh Burke class Flight IIA, making their full load displacement over 10,000 tons—the first time for a JMSDF surface combat vessel. The gun caliber has extended from the 54 caliber of the Kongō class to the 62 caliber with strengthened powder charge enabling a 38 km firing range. As with other Japanese ships being refit, the American-made Harpoon missiles (such as in the initial configuration of the Kongō class) have been replaced with the Japanese-made Type 90 (SSM-1B) surface-to-surface guided missiles.

Japan has also purchased a manufacturing license for these weapons for use on their Kongō-class Aegis destroyers. Japan Steel Works will manufacture, assemble, and test the weapons.

The fire-control system for the Atago class is the Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7 phase 1, which will combine American- and Japanese-manufactured systems to make up the complete Aegis system. The Aegis Weapon System baseline 7 has improved tracking accuracy for vertical targets, and an acquisition capability for small low-altitude targets compared with the Aegis Weapon System baseline 4 and 5, used in Kongō class. The Atagos also use a new stealthier plain-structure mast, which was originally designed in Japan, rather than familiar lattice type mast. A new modified smokestack and other improvements were also introduced to make the Atagos stealthier.

Like the Kongō class, the Atago-class destroyers are equipped with a comprehensive suite of weapon systems including:

In keeping with Japan's post-war pacifist constitution, the Atago class does not currently carry the Tomahawk missile (although, in theory at least, use of an anti-ship version is permissible). While the two ships of Atago class are entering service, the Tachikaze-class destroyers, Tachikaze and Asakaze are to be decommissioned.

In 2015, Japan formally began the construction of two new Atago ships of the improved 27DD subclass. The hull is enlarged for an empty displacement of 8,200 tons to allow for growth space for advanced weapon systems. The CODLAG propulsion system received several improvements to the ships' space, power management and distribution. New weapons are to be incorporated such as anti-ship missiles, and in-development indigenous point-defense lasers and electromagnetic railgun systems. Other improvements include the AN/SPQ-9B surface search radar, a multi-static sonar system, and an enhanced Aegis combat system with better Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). The two 27DD vessels are expected to be commissioned in 2020 and 2021.[3]

In comparison to the Chinese Type 052D destroyer, their updated radar enables them to engage ballistic missiles while the Type 052D's capability for ballistic missile defense is unknown. The Atagos have 96 vertical launch silos (VLS) compared to 64, can defend against a broad spectrum of threats to a task force in addition to themselves, have greater useful detection range through CEC, and are built to accommodate future upgrades. The Type 052D has superior offensive capabilities using cruise missiles and being able to hold more anti-ship missiles contained in their VLS; the two designs are matched in terms of main and defensive gun armament and digital networking and information sharing.[4]


The Atago-class destroyers are named after mountains in Japan. Both Atago-class ships share their names with World War II era Japanese cruisers. Atago shares her name with Takao-class heavy cruiser Atago, while Ashigara shares her name with the Myōkō-class heavy cruiser Ashigara.

Ships in the class

Building No. Pennant No. Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Home port
2317 DDG-177 Atago 5 April 2004 24 August 2005 15 March 2007 Maizuru
2318 DDG-178 Ashigara 6 April 2005 30 August 2006 13 March 2008 Sasebo

See also


  1. ^ "Aegis-equipped warship Ashigara launched". 31 August 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2018 – via Japan Times Online.
  2. ^ "護衛艦「あたご」型 DDG"ATAGO"Class 177「あたご」". Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Homepage. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  3. ^ Japan Defense Ministry Unveiled Details of "27DD" Class Railgun & Laser armed AEGIS Destroyer -, 22 July 2015
  4. ^ Japan’s Atago-Class Destroyer vs. China's 052D: Who Wins? -, 4 October 2015

External links

Anti-ship missile

Anti-ship missiles (AShM) are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea skimming variety, and many use a combination of inertial guidance and active radar homing. A good number of other anti-ship missiles use infrared homing to follow the heat that is emitted by a ship; it is also possible for anti-ship missiles to be guided by radio command all the way.

The first anti-ship missiles, which were developed and built by Nazi Germany, used radio command guidance. These saw some success in the Mediterranean Theater in 1943–44, sinking or heavily damaging at least 31 ships with the Henschel Hs 293 and more than seven with the Fritz X, such as the Italian battleship Roma or the cruiser USS Savannah. A variant of the HS 293 had a TV transmitter on board. The bomber carrying it could then fly outside the range of naval AA guns and use TV guidance to lead the missile to its target by radio control.

Many anti-ship missiles can be launched from a variety of weapons systems including surface warships (they can then be referred to as ship-to-ship missiles), submarines, bombers, fighter planes, patrol planes, helicopters, shore batteries, land vehicles, and conceivably, even by infantrymen firing shoulder-launched missiles. The term surface-to-surface missile (SSM) is used when appropriate. The longer-range anti-ship missiles are often called anti-ship cruise missiles.


Ashigara may refer to:

Ashigara Pass in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Mount Ashigara in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Ashigara Station (Kanagawa), a railway station in Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan

Ashigara Station (Shizuoka), a railway station in Oyama, Shizuoka, Japan

Japanese cruiser Ashigara, a cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy, named after the mountain

JS Ashigara (DDG-178), an Atago class destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force


Atago may refer to:

Atago Gongen, a Japanese kami

General Electric LM2500

The General Electric LM2500 is an industrial and marine gas turbine produced by GE Aviation. The LM2500 is a derivative of the General Electric CF6 aircraft engine.

The LM2500 is available in 3 different versions:

The LM2500 delivers 33,600 shaft horsepower (shp) (25,060 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 37 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 24 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 36 percent at ISO conditions.

The improved, 3rd generation, LM2500+ version of the turbine delivers 40,500 shp (30,200 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 29 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 38 percent at ISO conditions.

The latest, 4th generation, LM2500+G4 version was introduced in November 2005 and delivers 47,370 shp (35,320 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39.3 percent at ISO conditions.As of 2004, the U.S. Navy and at least 29 other navies had used a total of more than one thousand LM2500/LM2500+ gas turbines to power warships. Other uses include hydrofoils, hovercraft and fast ferries.

In 2012, GE developed an FPSO version to serve the oil and gas industry's demand for a lighter, more compact version to generate electricity and drive compressors to send natural gas through pipelines.

Guided missile destroyer

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.

In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

JS Ashigara

JS Ashigara (DDG-178) is an Atago class guided missile destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Ashigara was named for Mount Ashigara, and is the first Japanese ship to bear the prefix JS (Japanese Ship) instead of JDS (Japanese Defense Ship).

She was laid down by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Nagasaki on April 6, 2005, launched on August 30, 2006; and was commissioned on 13 March 2008.

JS Atago

JS Atago (あたご, A-ta-go) (DDG-177) is an Atago-class guided missile destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Atago was named for Mount Atago.

She was laid down by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki on April 5, 2004, launched on August 24, 2005; and commissioned on March 15, 2007.

Japanese ship Ashigara

At least two naval ships of Japan have been named Ashigara:

Japanese cruiser Ashigara, a cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy, named after the mountain

JS Ashigara (DDG-178), an Atago-class destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Japanese ship Atago

At least four warships of Japan have borne the name Atago:

Japanese gunboat Atago, was a Maya-class gunboat launched in 1887 and sunk in 1904

Japanese battlecruiser Atago, was an Amagi-class battlecruiser scrapped on slip in 1924

Japanese cruiser Atago, was a Takao-class cruiser launched in 1930 and sunk in 1944

JS Atago, is an Atago-class destroyer launched in 2005

Kidd-class destroyer

The Kidd-class destroyers were a series of four guided missile destroyers (DDGs) based on the Spruance class. The Kidds were designed as more advanced multipurpose ships, in contrast to their predecessor's focus on anti-submarine warfare, adding considerably enhanced anti-aircraft capabilities. Originally ordered for the former Imperial Iranian Navy, the contracts were canceled when the 1979 Iranian Revolution began, and the ships were completed for the United States Navy. Because they were equipped with heavy-duty air conditioning and other features that made them suitable in hot climates, they tended to be used in the Middle East, specifically the Persian Gulf itself. During their service with the U.S. Navy from the 1980s to the late 1990s, the ships were popularly known as the "Ayatollah" class. They were decommissioned and sold to the Republic of China Navy as the Kee Lung class.

List of ship launches in 2005

The list of ship launches in 2005 includes a chronological list of all ships launched in 2005.

List of ship launches in 2006

The list of ship launches in 2006 includes a chronological list of all ships launched in 2006.

Mark 41 Vertical Launching System

The Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS) is a shipborne missile canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The Vertical Launch System (VLS) concept was derived from work on the Aegis Combat System.

Maya-class destroyer

The Maya class of guided missile destroyers (まや型護衛艦, Maya-gata Goeikan) is Japan's latest AEGIS-equipped guided missile destroyers set to enter service in 2020.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (三菱重工業株式会社, Mitsubishi Jūkōgyō Kabushiki-kaisha, informally MHI) is a Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment and electronics company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. MHI is one of the core companies of the Mitsubishi Group.

MHI's products include aerospace components, air conditioners, aircraft, automotive components, forklift trucks, hydraulic equipment, machine tools, missiles, power generation equipment, printing machines, ships and space launch vehicles. Through its defense-related activities, it is the world's 23rd-largest defense contractor measured by 2011 defense revenues and the largest based in Japan.On November 28, 2018, the company was ordered by the South Korea Supreme Court to pay compensation for forced labor which the company oversaw during the Japanese occupation of Korea.

Mount Atago

Mount Atago is a very common name for peaks all over Japan.

Mount Atago (愛宕山, Atago-yama/san) is a 924m mountain in the northwestern part of Ukyo-ku, in the city of Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The Atago Shrine is located on the top of the mountain.

Stealth ship

A stealth ship is a ship which employs stealth technology construction techniques in an effort to ensure that it is harder to detect by one or more of radar, visual, sonar, and infrared methods.

These techniques borrow from stealth aircraft technology, although some aspects such as wake and acoustic signature reduction (Acoustic quieting) are unique to stealth ships' design. Though radar cross-section (RCS) reduction is a fairly new concept many other forms of masking a ship have existed for centuries or even millennia.

Type 052D destroyer

The Type 052D destroyer (NATO/OSD Luyang III-class destroyer) is a class of guided missile destroyers in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force. The Type 052D is a larger variant of the Type 052C; the Type 052D uses a canister-type, instead of revolver-type, vertical launching system (VLS) and has flat-panelled active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The new VLS is not limited to anti-air missiles, making the Type 052D China's first dedicated multi-role destroyer.Chinese media informally calls the Type 052D the Chinese Aegis, portraying it as a peer of contemporary United States Navy ships equipped with the Aegis Combat System. The appearance of the Type 052D, with flat-panelled radar and canister-based VLS, has encouraged the moniker's use.

Vertical launching system

A vertical launching system (VLS) is an advanced system for holding and firing missiles on mobile naval platforms, such as surface ships and submarines. Each vertical launch system consists of a number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for firing. Typically, each cell can hold a number of different types of missiles, allowing the ship flexibility to load the best set for any given mission. Further, when new missiles are developed, they are typically fitted to the existing vertical launch systems of that nation, allowing existing ships to use new types of missiles without expensive rework. When the command is given, the missile flies straight up long enough to clear the cell and the ship, and then turns on course.

A VLS allows surface combatants to have a greater number of weapons ready for firing at any given time compared to older launching systems such as the Mark 13 single-arm and Mark 26 twin-arm launchers, which were fed from behind by a magazine below the main deck. In addition to greater firepower, VLS is much more damage tolerant and reliable than the previous systems, and has a lower radar cross-section (RCS). The U.S. Navy now relies exclusively on VLS for its guided missile destroyers and cruisers.

The most widespread vertical launch system in the world is the Mark 41, developed by the United States Navy. More than 11,000 Mark 41 VLS missile cells have been delivered, or are on order, for use on 186 ships across 19 ship classes, in 11 navies around the world. This system currently serves with the US Navy as well as the Australian, Danish, Dutch, German, Japanese, New Zealand, Norwegian, South Korean, Spanish, and Turkish navies, while others like the Greek Navy preferred the similar Mark 48 system.The advanced Mark 57 vertical launch system is used on the new Zumwalt-class destroyer. The older Mark 13 and Mark 26 systems remain in service on ships that were sold to other countries such as Taiwan and Poland.

When installed on an SSN (nuclear-powered attack submarine), a VLS allows a greater number and variety of weapons to be deployed, compared with using only torpedo tubes.

Atago-class destroyers
Combatant ship classes of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Helicopter Destroyer (DDH)
Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG)
Destroyer (DD)
All Purpose Destroyer (DDA)
Anti Submarine Destroyer (DDK)
Destroyer Escort (DE)
Frigate Multi-Purpose / Mine(FFM)
Patrol Frigate (PF)
Submarine (SS)
Ocean Minehunters/Minesweepers (MHS)
Coastal Minehunters/Minesweepers (MHC)
Amphibious Warfare
Joint ventures


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