The event took place at JMU’s Yokohama shipyard. Like her sister-ship, the vessel is named after a mountain: Mount Haguro (羽黒山 Haguro-san).
The previous vessel to bear this name was the famous heavy cruiser Haguro of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Commissioned in 1929, Haguro saw significant service during World War II, participating in nine naval engagements. She was sunk in 1945 during a fight with Royal Navy destroyers, one of the last major Japanese warships to be sunk in open waters during World War II.
DDG-180 Haguro is expected to be commissioned with the JMSDF in 2021. First ship of the class, JS Maya, started her sea trials one month ago.
JS Maya is the first of a new class of improved destroyers with ballistic missile defense capabilities. Her keel was laid in April 2017 and she was launched on July 30th 2018.
The new destroyer class is 170 meters long and displaces 8,200 tons. She will operate with a crew of 310 sailors, and features a combined diesel electric and gas (COGLAG) propulsion system.
The Maya-class is the first of JMSDF’s Aegis destroyers ready for ballistic missile defense operations (BMD) from the time of commissioning, and is also the first of Japan’s AEGIS fleet to be equipped with Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) from the start. The CEC allows the ship to receive targeting information from other assets, such as US Navy of Royal Australian Navy AEGIS destroyers or American and Japanese E-2D AWACS aircraft. Japan has four E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft on order, with the first one delivered on March 29 to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
Fitted with the AEGIS Baseline J7 combat system and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B radar system, both JS Maya and JS Haguro destroyers will be able to fire the latest iteration of Raytheon’s SM-3 ballistic defense missile. Being jointly developed by the U.S. and Japan, the SM-3 Block IIA features larger rocket motors that will allow it to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats and a larger kinetic warhead.