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  • IJN Zuikaku Conventionally-Powered Fleet Aircraft Carrier

    The IJN Zuikaku was sunk by airstrike in the Battle of Cape Engano on October 25th, 1944.

     Updated: 5/30/2017; Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Japanese fleet carrier Zuikaku ("Lucky Crane") and her sister ship, Shokaku ("Happy Crane") were a two-strong class of modern aircraft carriers built in the 1930's. Both were laid down after the post-World War 1 Naval Treaties had expired which left the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) without any global naval building restrictions on new designs. Their armored decks, of 5.1" in thickness, were further strengthened to support more weight, allowing operations of heavier combat aircraft. The class was also designed to carry more fuel oil, giving the sister ships the long operational ranges required to wage war a prolonged campaign across the vast Pacific Ocean.

    The IJN Zuikaku measured a running length of 844.81 feet (257.5m) with a beam of 91.86 feet (28m) wide and a draught of 29.19 feet (8.9m). The vessel displaced at 25,675 tons under a standard load and some 32,105 tons when heavy. Her top listed speed was approximately 34.2 knots thanks to the Geared Steam Turbine engines powered by 8 x Kanpon brand boilers producing 165,000 shaft horsepower to her 4 x shafts, each capped with five-bladed propellers. Before requiring refueling, the Zuikaku could steam out to 9,700 nautical miles at 18.

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    IJN Zuikaku Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1941
    Type: Conventionally-Powered Fleet Aircraft Carrier
    National Origin: Imperial Japan
    Ship Class: Shokaku-class

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Complement (Crew): 1,660
    Length: 844.9 feet (257.53 meters)
    Beam (Width): 85.3 feet (26.00 meters)
    Draught (Height): 29.1 feet (8.87 meters)

    Surface Displacement: 29,800 tons

    Installed Power and Base Performance

    Engine(s): 8 x boilers with Kanpon geared steam turbines developing 160,000 horsepower to 4 x shafts.

    Surface Speed: 34.5 knots (40 mph)
    Operational Range: 9,719 nautical miles (11,184 miles, 17,999 km)

    Armament / Air Wing

    16 x 5-inch (127mm) anti-aircraft guns
    36 x 25mm anti-aircraft cannons

    Aircraft: Between 72 and 84 aircraft to include the Mitsubishi A6M, the Aichi D3A and the Nakajim B5N.

    Global Operators

    Imperial Japan

    Ships-in-Class (2)

    IJN Shokaku; IJN Zuikaku