Shades of Gray

Check out this great shot from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Fleet feed.

Taken on 5 February, it shows the Takanami-class destroyer JS Makinami (DD-112) steaming close by the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), in “a bilateral exercise in the South China Sea to enhance our tactical capabilities and interoperability between the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy.”

As scale modelers will be quick to tell you, for the past quarter century, the shade of grey has been attributed as Modern USN Haze Grey (FS 26270) while the Japanese shade is a much deeper, JMSDF 2705 Dark Gray N4.

Comparing the two, the 6,300-ton Makinami is a true escort, fitted with an OTO Breda 5″/54 mount up front, a 32 cell VLS behind it filled with a mix of 32 VLA ASROC and Sea Sparrows, twin 20mm CIWS mounts front and back, eight Type 90 anti-ship missile cans amidship, six ASW torpedo tubes, and room for an SH-60 type helicopter. This makes her much better prepared for air defense, ASW, and NGFS than her partner. 

Meanwhile, the 3,100-ton Charleston carries a 57mm MK110 Bofors up front, an 11-cell SeaRAM mount over the stern, and, gratefully, is fitted with a full eight-pack of new Kongsberg Naval Strike Missiles, giving the four-year-old LCS arguably better over-the-horizon anti-ship capabilities than the 19-year-old Japanese destroyer, especially if she has a combined MH-60S Sea Hawk/MQ-8C Fire Scout det embarked to deliver OTH airborne sensor details as the MQ-8C is equipped with the ZPY-8 search radar and a Brite Star II electro-optical/infrared sensor.

Plus the Japanese still wear blueberries. 


  • just sayin' Ma...

    Japan abolished it’s usage of both Lead-based and Chromium-based paints in 2017, and are running through whatever stocks of both paints are still left in their stockpiled inventory! The US abolished its usage of Lead-based paints in 1978, but it took until 1996 for the US Navy to use up the ~33,000-tons of Haze Gray paint in their stockpile…

  • The LCS’s are not painted. Just bare aluminum. Much like the expeditionary fast transports. Which up close , well doesn’t look good [ surface wise ] INHO.

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