In the early 90s, as the world celebrated the end of East-West bipolarization with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Japan set out to develop a world-class high seas fleet capable of defending all of the archipelago against a technologically advanced adversary. Did Japan anticipate China's meteoric transformation, and the threat it would pose to its security just 20 years later?
Regardless, the Japanese Self-Defense Force's high seas fleet now ranks third among the world's navies, sharing, behind the US Navy and the PLA, its podium with the Russian fleet, but far exceeding European fleets. Today it has 18 attack submarines, 4 helicopter-carrier destroyers, 8 heavy destroyers, 20 destroyers and 16 frigates and light frigates, supported by 5 auxiliary ships, but aims to increase this format during the decade to come, so as to maintain its dissuasive capacities against the Sino-Russian couple. In 2030, the Japanese fleet will be made up, according to current programs, as follows:
4 Aircraft Carrier
The two aircraft carrier destroyers of the Izumo class, entered into service in 2015 and 2017, measure 27.000 tons for 248 meters long. Both vessels will be modified to implement the 42 F35B take-off and landing short / vertical ordered in 2019 with the United States, thus becoming full-fledged aircraft carriers. It is not excluded, depending on the number of Chinese aircraft carriers that will enter service during the next decade, that Tokyo decides to build a third unit, so as to guarantee a permanent response capacity. Japan had not had any aircraft carriers since the end of the Second World War.
The Japanese fleet also has 2 helicopter carrier 19.000 tons of the Hyuga class entered service in 2009 and 2011, and capable of operating up to 18 helicopters of all types, including the CH-47 and V-22 Osprey heavy helicopters. These ships, which carry a complete offensive and defensive system, including a Mk41 vertical missile launch system using RIM-162 ESSM medium-range anti-aircraft missiles and ASROC anti-submarine missiles, are specialized in the anti-submarine warfare and against surface units.
3 Assault ships
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