The Maya-class destroyer group serving the modern Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is constructed by the specialists of Japan Marine United and is being used to succeed the Atago-class ships, themselves improved forms of the Kongo-class. Like the Atago-class, the Maya-class consists of just two warships but represent the latest in state-of-the-art maritime sensor processing and ranged firepower. Their capabilities are such that they can operate independently or as part of the main fighting fleet. The lead ship, JS Maya (DDG-179), saw her keel laid down on April 17th, 2017. She was launched for trials on July 30th, 2018 and was formally commissioned into service with the JMSDF on March 19th, 2020.
JS Maya represents a sub-class of the earlier Atago-class and is also known as the "27DDG Destroyer". The primary component of the Maya-class is its integration of the powerful maritime-minded "AEGIS" combat system. Another differentiating quality is its reliance on a COGLAG (COmbined Gas-ELectric And Gas) propulsion scheme.
JS Maya, named after Mount Maya, and displaces 8,332 tons under standard loads and 10,414 tons under full loads. Dimensions include a running length of 557.4 feet with a beam measuring 72.9 feet and a draught down to 21 feet. Power is from an IHI (General Electric) arrangement involving 4 x LM2500-30 series gas turbines driving 2 x 5-bladed propeller shafts astern. Total output power reaches 68,010 horsepower suitable for fast, dash actions or cruising endeavors. The vessel makes headway at about 30 knots.
Aboard is a crew numbering 300 and sensors and processing systems include the AN/SPY-1D(V) Passive, Electronically-Scanned Array (PESA) radar suite alongside the AN/APQ-9 surface-search radar system. The AN/SQQ-89 is the installed Undersea Warfare Combat System (UWCS) for anti-submarine actions. 3 x Mk.99 Mod 8 Fire Control Systems (FCSs) are featured as is the Mk 116 and Mk 160 FCS units.
Armament consists of 1 x 5" (127mm) /L62 Mk 45 Mod 4 turreted naval gun at the forecastle backed by 2 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs). However, the bread-and-butter of the vessel is its missile array which is lead by the 64-cell forward Vertical Launching System (VLS) and the 32-cell aft VLS. These have the capability to fire SM-2MR Standard missiles, SM-3 anti-ballistic missiles, SM-6 Standard missiles, and Type 07 VL-ASROCs (Vertically-Launched, Anti-Submarine ROCkets). 2 x Missile launchers support up to 8 x Type 17 missiles and 2 x Type 68 triple-torpedo tubes are featured supporting the Mk 46 or Type 73 torpedo families.
Additional support for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations comes from the Sikorsky SH-60K navy helicopter that can be launched or retrieved from the aft-seated helipad. A full-service hangar is also found aboard which can house a second helicopter system.
The structure of the Maya utilizes all known and proven signature-reducing features including slab sides and enclosed mastworks / smoke funnels. A low-profile design also aids in keeping the Maya a small target on the horizon. Couple these qualities with its onboard systems and the vessel sports many survivability features needed of modern warship types.