Launched on July 30th 2018 from the JMU Shipyard in Yokohama, the JS Maya is the first of a new class of improved destroyers with ballistic missile defense capabilities. Each unit costs around US$1,5Bn and were being built at the JMU’s shipyard at Isogo Ward in Yokohama. This will be a two ship class: JS Maya and JS Haguro.
The vessel is named after Mount Maya (摩耶山, Maya-san), a 698.6-metre-high (2,292 ft) mountain in Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.
Dubbed DDG-27, this new project of improved Aegis destroyers started in 2015. The first ship of the class had its keel laid in April 2017. The new destroyer class is 170 meters long and displaces 8200 tons. She operates 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 fitted with ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities from the design stage, 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 and 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.
Maya-class weapon and sensor systems
Fitted with the AEGIS Baseline J7 combat system and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B radar system, the Maya-class destroyers is 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.
The Maya-class features 96 cells of Mk41 VLS (64 cells forward and 32 cells aft). Other weapon systems of the Maya-class include:
- SM-6 also known as RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM)
- SM-2ER Block IIIB Surface to Air Missiles
- Type 07 Vertical Launch Anti-submarine rocket
- Type 90/17 anti-ship missiles
- Mk 45 Mod 4 127mm main gun
- 2x Phalanx CIWS
- 2x Type 68 triple torpedo tubes (for Mk-46 or Type 73 torpedoes)
The SM-6 is a multi-mission missile that can engage both air and surface targets. According to our Japanese sources, SM-6 was scheduled to be procured in Japan’s defense budget of FY2019, but procurement was postponed due to shortage of SM-6 parts in the United States. Japan is set to become the first export customer of this missile type. SM-6, SM-3 and SM-2 are all designed and produced by Raytheon.
As we reported recently, the Maya-class destroyers will feature a cooperative table developed by Japanese company Fujitsu. Placed in the CIC, this table will be used for mission planning, among other tasks.