As built, the Ise displaces at 14,000 tons under standard operating loads and can displace as much as 18,000 tons under full combat load. She features a bow-to-stern length of 587 feet, a beam of 108 feet and a draught of 23 feet. A typical crew complement is 370 personnel. Its physical characteristics include an inline flight deck which is designed to launch and retrieved only Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft, primarily navalized helicopters in service with the JMSDF - as such she is not a true "aircraft carrier" by Western standards. To complete this task, the bow, stern and portside sections of the flight deck are clear of obstructions, leaving only the island superstructure offset to starboard. The superstructure is also home to the main mast and a pair of low-profile, fully-enclosed smoke funnels for a reduced radar signature. The Ise typically fields 3 x Sikorsky SH-60K Seahawks and 1 x AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin medium-lift helicopters outfitted for the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role though it is cleared to field as many as eleven rotary-wing units under full loads. The Ise features a fully-enclosed hangar facility accessed via flight deck hangar elevators.
The JDS Ise is outfitted with a bevy of advanced processing and sensor equipment - "ATECS" serves as its "Advanced TEchnology Command System" under which falls the OYQ-10 combat direction system, the FCS-3 Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW) system (a phased array radar), the OQQ-21 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) system, the NOLQ-3C Electronic Warfare (EW) system and the OPS-20C series surface search radar suite.
In terms of armament, the JDS Ise is outfitted with a 16-cell bank of vertically-launched missiles in the Mk 41 VLS (Vertically Launching System). Such launchers have primarily overtaken the large array of deck guns once found on destroyer designs in prior ages. Additional missile armament also includes 16 x RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs) which were introduced by the United States Navy in 2004 as an advanced medium-ranged, anti-aircraft measure. To counter undersea threats, the Ise is afforded use of 2 x 324mm triple-tube torpedo launchers. Close-in defense is handled by the digitally-controlled 2 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs), one fitted to the bow and the other at the stern. Extreme short-range defense is then provided by up to 4 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns.
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