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JS Kurama (DDH-144)

Destroyer Warship

Japan | 1981

"JS Kurama serves as sister ship to JS Shirane in the two-strong Shirane-class destroyer group."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/21/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
During the 1970s, the Japanese government authorized construction of two new warships to make up the Shirane-class. JN Shirane (DDH-143) would serve as the lead ship and JN Kurama (DDH-144) became her sister. Kurama saw her keel laid down on February 17th, 1978 and she was launched on September 20th, 1979. The warship was formally commissioned on March 27th, 1981. While Shirane was decommissioned in March of 2015, Kurama maintains an active presence in the Japanese fleet today (2017).

In the Japanese Navy, these two ships served a dual-role nature in which the warship carried a modest flight of three navy helicopters and could operate in the traditional destroyer role. Three Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters were carried to serve in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions and the vessels were inherently agile and fast with "blue water" capabilities - useful in patrolling the vast open spaces of ocean around the Japanese islands.

As built, Kurama displaces 5,300 tons under standard load and up to 7,600 tons under full load. Dimensions include an overall length of 522 feet, a beam of 57.4 feet, and a draught of 17.4 feet. Power was from 2 x Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) boilers feeding 2 x turbines developing 70,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts. The propulsion system was carried over from the preceding Haruna-class warships. Performance includes a maximum sea-going speed of 31 knots. On board are 350 personnel.

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Kurama is very much a product of her Cold War roots - the armament suite is a mix of missile and conventional projectile weapons. A Sea Sparrow launcher is used against aerial threats and the Mk 112 installation is an octuple ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) launcher developed as an anti-submarine measure. Deck guns are 2 x FMC 5" /54 caliber Mark 42 series turreted systems in the "1" and "2" positions. Close-in defense is handled by 2 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs). The warship is also outfitted with 2 x Mark 32 series triple torpedo tubes cleared to fire the Mk-46 family of homing torpedoes.

Beyond personnel and weaponry, the vessel also lives and dies through its installed sensors and processing systems. This includes the OPS-12 3D air-search radar, the OPS-28 surface-search radar, and an OQS-101 bow-mounted sonar fit. Electronic warfare and decoys include the NOLQ-1 system as well as the OLR-9B Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and the Mark 36 SRBOC ("Super-Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasure") - an integrated chaff and decoy-launching system.

With her sister now decommissioned and the usefulness of mixed-armament warships (particularly those with conventional projectile-launching weapons) waning with each passing year, the end of Kurama may also be near. The vessel's most notable action (beyond training maneuvers and the like) was a collision in October of 2009 in which Kurama suffered heavy physical and fire damage to her bow. No deaths were linked to the event but repairs were forced ahead of scheduled maintenance.

The Shirane-class has been officially succeeded by the Hyuga-class of helicopter destroyers in the Japanese naval inventory.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for JS Kurama (DDH-144).
2 x Ishikawajima Harima steam turbines with 2 x IHI boilers developing 70,000 shaft horsepower to 2 x shafts.
31.0 kts
35.7 mph
Surface Speed
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of JS Kurama (DDH-144).
522.0 ft
159.11 meters
O/A Length
57.0 ft
17.37 meters
17.0 ft
5.18 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of JS Kurama (DDH-144).
1 x 8-pod Sea Sparrow surface-to-air guided missile launcher.
1 x ASROC Mk 112 octuple anti-submarine missile launcher.
2 x FMC 5"/54 caliber (127mm) Mark 42 Dual-Purpose (DP) deck guns at bow.
1 x Mk 112 8-shot ASROC ASW torpedo launcher
2 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)
2 x Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes (MK 46 series torpedoes).
4 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of JS Kurama (DDH-144).
3 x Sikorsky SH-60J(K) Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) navy helicopters.
Ships-in-Class (2)
Notable series variants as part of the JS Kurama (DDH-144) family line as relating to the Shirane-class group.
JS Shirane (DDH-143); JS Kurama (DDH-144)
Global operator(s) of the JS Kurama (DDH-144). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of modern Japan

[ Japan ]
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Image of the JS Kurama (DDH-144)
Image form the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery network.
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Image of the JS Kurama (DDH-144)
Image form the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery network.
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Image of the JS Kurama (DDH-144)
Image form the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery network.
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Image of the JS Kurama (DDH-144)
Image form the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery network.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
JS Kurama (DDH-144) Destroyer Warship appears in the following collections:
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