Japan Launches Its Second Maya-Class AEGIS Destroyer, Haguro

Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) has launched the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)’s second Maya-class AEGIS-equipped destroyer, the future JS Haguro (DDG-180), during a ceremony at its Yokohama Shipyard Isogo Works on July 17.

“She is newest DDG that improves the performance and aims to further improve our Air Defense capacity by having a Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC)”, said a JMSDF statement.

The ceremony also saw the formal naming of the vessel as Haguro after Mount Haguro, one of the Three Mountains of Dewa in the city of Tsuruoka in the ancient province of Dewa (now in Yamagata Prefecture).

The previous vessel to bear the name ‘Haguro’ was a Myōkō-class heavy cruiser operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Commissioned in 1929, Haguro saw significant service during World War II, participating in nine naval engagements. She was sunk by Royal Navy destroyers in the Strait of Malacca in 1945 becoming one of the last major Japanese warships to be sunk in open waters during World War II.

The new vessel is slated to go into service in March 2021.

Maya-class DDGs

Maya class of guided missile destroyers is Japan’s latest AEGIS-equipped guided missile destroyers set to enter service in 2020. The class was developed from the currently operational Atago-class destroyers.

The vessels has a length of 170 meters, a width of 21 meters, a standard displacement of 8,200 tons and a full load displacement of 10,250 tons. The ships will have a crew complement of around 300.

The Maya-class features the newer Aegis Baseline 9 system (referred as J7 in Japan) while the Atago-class uses the older Aegis Baseline 7 system. The Maya-class is also the first JMSDF AEGIS vessel to be ready for ballistic missile defense (BMD) from the time of its commissioning. The Atago-class and the older Kongō-class destroyers underwent modifications to be able to conduct BMD.

The new destroyers are equipped with the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system which will allow them to share surveillance or targeting information with other CEC-equipped Japanese and allied assets such as ships and aircraft.

The ships are armed with one 5 inch (127mm/L62) Mk-45 Mod 4 naval gun in a stealth-shaped mount, two 20 mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS), SM-3 Block IIA and SM-6 air/missile defense missiles and Type 17 ship-to-ship missiles.

The first ship of the class, JS Maya, was launched on July 30 last year and is expected to be commissioned into the JMSDF fleet in March next year.

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