“The carrier” that Japan and India launched each in August attracts attention in the world.
Does the world consider that the building competition of the carrier began between three countries? Journalists tend to write a stimulating sensational article. Because they think about how they attract readers for their article.
However, Izumo has the appearance such as the carrier, but is not a carrier. It classified in a destroyer.
Why is Izumo classified in a destroyer? Ships of the JMSDF, known as Japan Defense Ships. Combatant Ships are classified in Destroyer,Destroyer escort or Submarine. The Marine Self Defense Force applied a lot of DDH( Helicopter Destroyer) conventionally. helicopter anti submarines.
The Marine Self Defense Force has four escort flotillas that is commanded by each rear admiral. Each escort flotilla is constructed in two escort Divisions(Guided missile weapon Destroyer Division or Helicopter Destroyer Division). Therefore, escort flotilla has eight destroyers.
The ability for battle of Izumo in itself is held down low. Izumo’s multi-function radar and the sonar are simplified. Izumo is not equipped with the armament except minimum self-defense armament, and there is not even a torpedo for antisubmarine operation. Izumo is too big to carry out an antisubmarine battle by oneself. Therefore, in Izumo, the use as the platform in the center of the fleet is assumed.
Izumo has some other functions. One is lift-on/lift-off ship function. Izumo can transport 400 staff and 3.5 tons of trucks 50. And Izumo can replenish other 3destroyers( fuel and dry cargo) while underway on the high seas. And Izumo has the function of hospital ship. The medical division of Izumo comprises an operating room, an intensive care unit, a radiographic room, substantial medical facilities including the dental infirmary and has 46 beds of hospitalization facilities. And the expansion of the hospital function is possible by opening Field Operation System in the hangar of the helicopter. It is a function increased by experience of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Izumo is not an aircraft carrier in this way. Then why does Japan not have an aircraft carrier?
After the late 1970s, Japanese Government made much of sea lane defense. The Marine Self Defense Force started the formation of the eight-eight fleet (8 antisubmarine helicopters and 8 destroyers per one escort flotilla) to deal with nuclear submarines of the former Soviet Union equipped with anti-ship missiles. And 100 P-3C antisubmarine patrol aircrafts were deployed. 20 planes were used for the direct support of the fleet and 80 planes were used for wide area patrol. It becomes the basic of the military unit formation of the Marine Self Defense Force now. And the air-to-ship missiles by the former Soviet Union bombers was a menace for Japanese fleet. Therefore choice of the possession of the carrier or the possession of the Aegis-equipped destroyer was carried out. As a result, Japan chose an Aegis-equipped destroyer.
It greatly contributed to reinforcement of the Japan-U.S. alliance. The hunter killer of the Marine Self Defense Force is positioning of the antisubmarine military unit of the American Seventh Fleet virtually. They have the important duty called the bodyguard of the Carrier Strike Group of 7th fleet in particular. If the Marine Self Defense Force protects the U.S. carrier, this is because the U.S. carrier can maintain the attack power to the enemy corps.
Against Japan and the United States getting such a strong alliance relations,the former Soviet Union promoted expansion of armaments using the enormous war expenditures. It became one of the causes of the former Soviet Union collapse. The reason why Japan does not need a real carrier is right here now.