The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (Navy) has done well within its restrictive constitution and pacifist global-standing to maintain an all-modern fighting surface and undersea force, particularly when regional neighbors include defense powerhouse China and unpredictable North Korea. The current (2017) fleet has some seventeen submarines in service, four helicopter destroyers and approximately thirty-six "true" destroyers it can call upon in the event of war. One of the surface warship groups that makes up the latter is the Asagiri-class.
The class was built from the period spanning 1986 to 1989 and the force of eight has been in active commission since 1986 - led by JS Asagiri (DD-151). The vessels are classified as destroyers by the JMSDF but are viewed as frigates in some circles. Sister ships include JS Yamagiri, JS Yugiri, JS Amagiri, JS Hamagiri, JS Setogiri, JS Sawagiri and JS Umigiri. The group was constructed to succeed the Hatsuyuki-class destroyers and, themselves, have since been superseded by the Murasame-class which arrived in 1996.
The Asagiri-class was built to satisfy the 4,900 tonne range and displace 3,500 tonnes under standard loads and up to 4,900 tonnes under full loads. Dimensions include a length of 449.5 feet with a beam of 47.10 feet and a draught of 14.8 feet. The crew numbers 220 personnel and installed equipment includes the OYQ-6/7 CDS, the OPS-14/24 air-search radar, the OPS-28 surface-search radar and the OQS-4A hull-mounted sonar. The Electronic Warfare (EW) suite includes the NOLR-8 intercept radar the OLT-3 jammer and the Mark 36 SRBOC countermeasures kit. A flight deck held over the stern section of the warship supports a single Sikorsky SH-60J(K) Seahawk (or similar) medium-lift helicopter.
Propulsion power comes from a COmbined Gas And Gas (COGAG) arrangement which sees four coupled gas turbines outputting 54,000 horsepower to twin shafts under stern. Each pairing can be used to accomplish a specific action such as general cruising or high speed dashes. The warship can make speeds of 30 knots in ideal conditions and range out to over 8,000 nautical miles.
Installed armament includes a 76mm OTO-Breda turreted deck gun over the forecastle and 2 x Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers (four cells each). A single Mk.29 Sea Sparrow anti-aircraft missile launcher is fitted to deal with aerial threats and close-in defense is handled by the 20mm Phalanx CIWS pairing. The destroyer is also outfitted with an Mk 16 ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) launcher as well as 2 x 324mm HOS-302A triple torpedo tubes. All told, the vessel can counter the threat posed by airborne or surface/undersea enemy elements. The carried SH-60J(K) is further outfitted with Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) equipment and operates beyond-the-horizon for the warship's sake.
JS Asagiri (DD-151) was built by IHI Corporation of Tokyo, Japan and launched on September 19th, 1986 prior to being formally commissioned for service in 1988. She served in her given destroyer role up until February of 2005 to which point she was converted, and subsequently redesignated, to the training vessel "TV-3516" (as was JS Yamagiri). She was then reworked to become DD-151 once more in March of 2012. She makes her homeport out of Kure, Japan.
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