Say hello to the newest aircraft carrier (um, destroyer?) Kaga

The Maritime Self-Defense Force commissioned the new aircraft carrying destroyer Kaga (DDH-184), shown next to her sistership Izumo (DDH-183) in Yokohama on March 22. (Eiji Hori)

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) on Wednesday introduced their newest version of the Kaga to the world. Officially classified by Japan as a helicopter destroyer, these 27,000-ton flattops are 814-feet long and only carry a pair of CIWS and Sea Ram self-defense systems as far as fitted armament, rather than any big guns, torpedos, or serious guided missiles. What they can carry are up to 28 aircraft (STOVL or rotary wing only) or a battalion of troops.

Kaga, of course, shares the name of the famous 1920s Tosa-class battleship converted to a flattop which was scratched at the Battle of Midway.

Izumo was commissoned 25 March 2015. Her name was previously used by an early armored cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy (ordered 1897, sunk 1945). She recently made headlines when was reported that in a couple months Izumo will sail through the disputed waters of the  South China Sea and port calls in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. She is also scheduled to participate in this year’s trilateral India-U.S.-Japan Malabar naval exercise taking place in the Indian Ocean in July.

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