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JMSDF Takao class Destroyer Escort

Grey Havoc

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This is an unusual project, especially in light of known JMSDF doctrine. It was apparently conceived around the mid-'90s or there abouts by the JMSDF and the old JDA as a lower cost alternative to the procurement of futher units of the Kongō class (what would eventually become the Atago class). Unlike most JMSDF warships, it was primarily intended as an AA/ASuW platform, with ASW strictly a secondary role. Also most unusually, Takao class units were meant to be assigned to the JMSDF's Escort Flotillas, as escorts for Kongō and her sister destroyers (somewhat like the later Akizuki class DDs). Normally Japanese Destroyer Escorts are assigned to the District Forces. For the purposes of the 8 ship/8 helicopter doctrine, it probably was intended to count each Kongō and her 1-2 escort/s as a single 'ship'.
EDIT: Alternatively, Friedman does just mentions them as being 'destroyers', so it's possible that they were actually classified as DDs, which means they would have been 2 of the 5 DDs assigned to a Escort Fotilla instead. However, I'll stick with the DE designation for the moment.

Up to eight units appear to have been mooted (two per Kongō), with hull classification numbers likely (but not confirmed) to be in the DE-240 to DE-247 range. Lead builder was probably to be Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding. Laying down of the initial units seems have been planned for the late 90's/early 2000's timeframe.

According to Friedman, the Takao's primary weapons system was based around two FCS-3 systems (rotating array version), each capable of guiding up to 16 Sea Sparrow missiles. She was designed with two Mk 41 VLS, one 29 cell (forward) and one 61 cell (aft). The forward VLS was reserved for quad-packed Sea Sparrow missiles and a reported VL version of the SSM-1 anti-ship missile. The other VLS was to be filled with SM-2 Block IV missiles, which were to be mainly controlled through the CEC (a domestically developed Cooperative Engagement Capability system) by the Kongōs that the Takaos would be escorting. Each Takao would in effect act as an extended limb of a Kongō class destroyer, providing extra firepower and options to it in return for full situational awareness and enhanced survival. A symbiotic relationship, as it were.

The rest of the planned electronics fit for the Takaos probably also included the OPS-28 and OPS-20 radars, as well as the NOLQ-2 EW suite. CDS (Combat Direction System) would have most likely been a version of the OYQ-7.

Other armament would have included 1 Phalanx CIWS and provision for a RAM launcher. The design does not appear to have had provision for a main gun. ASW weaponry seems to have been limited to two (hull mounted?) triple 324 mm torpedo launchers (Type 68?). Torpedo countermeasures including the SLQ-25 Nixie would have been fitted though. No word on the sonar system, although it's likely to have at least had the OQS-5 bow mounted set.

The class likely had a small flight deck with associated equipment including the RAST system, but no other aviation facilities.

Standard displacement was around 4400 tons. Machinery would have consisted of 4 Ishikawajima Harima / General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, similar to those fitted to the Kongōs, driving two shafts for a top speed of 30+ knots. Hull was probably fin stabilised. Heavy automation?

The project seems to have died around the year 2000, contributing factors likely including major delays with FCS-3 development along with budget constraints, with the Atogo class (somewhat ironically) ordered instead.


Note: As you can see, solid data on the Takao class DE is hard to come by (I haven't been able to find even a whisper of a drawing so far), so at least some of what I've posted probably need health warnings. I'll do a bit more digging whenever I'll get the chance.
 

Grey Havoc

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The Takao would have used the same hull as the Asuka Class ASE, itself derived from that of the Murasame class destroyer, albeit scaled down.

There is also some circumstantial evidence to the effect that the machinery would have incorporated COGES (gas/steam turbine combo powering a turbo-electric drive [two compact steam turbines in addition to the four gas turbines?]), which was in vogue in naval design circles at the time (though there are currently no operational naval vessels with this setup).
 

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