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Rate the Ship - Atago Class Destroyers

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  • Rate the Ship - Atago Class Destroyers

    A destroyer that is bigger than WWII cruisers.


    The Atago class of guided missile destroyers is an improved version of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)'s Kongō class destroyers. It is a Japanese variant of the United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (Flight IIA).

    The Atago class is fundamentally an improved and scaled up version of Kongō class destroyers. It features large accommodation and capable of flexible operation. One of the most obvious change is additional hangar to carry one SH-60K helicopter. In comparison to the Kongō-class/Arleigh Burke-class (Flight I) which only had helicopter platforms (but no support equipment), these ships have better helicopter handling facilities. To enhance Atago class' function as command centers, the bridge is two floors higher than Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA, making her full load displacement over 10,000 tons—the first time for a JMSDF surface combat vessel. The gun caliber has extended from the 54 caliber of the Kongō class to the 62 caliber with strengthened powder charge capable 38 km firing range . As with other Japanese ships being refit, the American-made Harpoon missiles (such as in the initial configuration of the Kongō class) have been replaced with the Japanese-made Type 90 (SSM-1B) surface-to-surface guided missiles.

    The fire-control system for the Atago is Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7 phase 1, which will combine American- and Japanese-manufactured systems to make up the complete Aegis system. The Aegis Weapon System baseline 7 has improved tracking accuracy for vertical targets, and an acquisition capability for small low-altitude targets compared with the Aegis Weapon System baseline 4 and 5, used in Kongō class. The Atago also use a new stealthier plain-structure mast, which was originally designed in Japan, rather than familiar lattice type mast. New modified smokestack and other improvements are also introduced to make Atago stealthier.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atago_class_destroyer
    9
    Excellent
    22.22%
    2
    Good
    66.67%
    6
    Average
    11.11%
    1
    Fair and Overprice
    0.00%
    0

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by IDonT4; 23 Apr 10, 21:56.

  • #2
    I'm going to give it an average, considering what vessels Japan already has in the role, and what it is working on/operating now. Overall I think they're better off with the Kongos and 'pocket carriers'/helicopter destroyers, than with what is merely a small evolutionary step. The ship provides some advantage in the Winter, or in the northern reaches, but we're not looking at a far and away step from what it had before. Also the cost increase really isn't sufficiently justified by the increase in capability over preceding/coexisting platforms.

    In the end I would say that Japan has finally taken the proper step in getting naval aviation restarted in the MSDF (otherwise known as the IJN (just not too loudly around the self-effacing Japanese)). It really needed the ability to field a real helo/VSTOL force, not just 1 or 2 small birds per ship.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

    Comment


    • #3
      TC4,

      I agree that it is an evolutionary step to the Kongo class destroyers. It is what an escort destroyer/cruiser should have. I think that the Aegis destroyers that it was developed from could be rightly called a cruiser. Adding the helo hanger was an expensive addition, but one that should have been there from the start. It should have never of been deleted to save money. A flexible platform like the AAW destroyers/cruisers should have a dedicated helo asset when on missions. You can't really compare a cruiser to a helo carrier (or in Japanese parlance "Helicopter Destroyer"). They both meet very different mission requirements. That DDH will need a AAW escort to help protect it and if you think different you may be smoking crack!!!

      Let us call the Atago class what the Japanese are afraid to call their new ship and what it really should be called...a cruiser. It rates very well for its intended mission, but it has not been proven yet. I still give her a "Good" even though she is barely out of the wrappers yet. If I saw favorable test results for the new Nipponese replacement missiles for the Harpoons I would rate her excellent!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
        I'm going to give it an average, considering what vessels Japan already has in the role, and what it is working on/operating now. Overall I think they're better off with the Kongos and 'pocket carriers'/helicopter destroyers, than with what is merely a small evolutionary step. The ship provides some advantage in the Winter, or in the northern reaches, but we're not looking at a far and away step from what it had before. Also the cost increase really isn't sufficiently justified by the increase in capability over preceding/coexisting platforms.

        In the end I would say that Japan has finally taken the proper step in getting naval aviation restarted in the MSDF (otherwise known as the IJN (just not too loudly around the self-effacing Japanese)). It really needed the ability to field a real helo/VSTOL force, not just 1 or 2 small birds per ship.
        The Kongō class vessels are being modified to serve in a theater missile defense role, with the primary intention of countering North Korean ballistic missiles. Fleet flagship role is now with the Atagos and the Hyuga helicopter destroyers. The Atagos replaced the Tachikaze class DDG's

        The Atago can only carry one helicopter as opposed to 2 on a Flight IIA Burke.
        Last edited by IDonT4; 24 Apr 10, 08:01.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Afghanisdan View Post
          TC4,

          Let us call the Atago class what the Japanese are afraid to call their new ship and what it really should be called...a cruiser. It rates very well for its intended mission, but it has not been proven yet. I still give her a "Good" even though she is barely out of the wrappers yet. If I saw favorable test results for the new Nipponese replacement missiles for the Harpoons I would rate her excellent!
          If the Atago was in USN service, her flag capabilities would have her classified as a cruiser. With the cancellation of the CGX, the USN is proposing a Flight III Burke as a replacement for the Ticos.


          http://newwars.wordpress.com/2010/03...-better-burke/

          Comment


          • #6
            I rated them as Good. Till they, or the Burkes, are seriously tested it would be hard to rate them excellent.
            Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

            "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

            What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't see what's not to like about any modern AEGIS-equipped destroyer.

              (btw, I thought there was a vague rule about not starting another "Rate the platform" poll until the last one had fnished?)
              My board games blog: The Brass Castle

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                I rated them as Good. Till they, or the Burkes, are seriously tested it would be hard to rate them excellent.
                What is your definition of seriously tested? IMO no Post WWII ships have been seriously tested.

                The Burke Class and its Japanese and Korean derivatives the largest class of surface combatants built since WWII, around 70 ships and counting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Japanese make excellent ships and are good sailors, and these ships are indeed excellent ships in most respects except one; the ability to only carry one helo. The lack of a helo capability was a major oversight in the DDG-51 when those ships originally hit the water, which was rectified in the flight II ships; they can now carry two birds just like the Ticonderogas. That is my big issue with their otherwise excellent Japanese cousins, particularly given the size of the ships. I personally hope that when the Burkes are re-consfigured to take over the role of the CG-47 class, that the ships will be enlarged enough to give them the same C2 capability as a full Mk-41 launcher forward.
                  Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                  Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                  Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bass_man86 View Post
                    The Japanese make excellent ships and are good sailors, and these ships are indeed excellent ships in most respects except one; the ability to only carry one helo. The lack of a helo capability was a major oversight in the DDG-51 when those ships originally hit the water, which was rectified in the flight II ships; they can now carry two birds just like the Ticonderogas. That is my big issue with their otherwise excellent Japanese cousins, particularly given the size of the ships. I personally hope that when the Burkes are re-consfigured to take over the role of the CG-47 class, that the ships will be enlarged enough to give them the same C2 capability as a full Mk-41 launcher forward.
                    I believe each of the Japanese escort flotillas used the 8 8 rule, 8 ships with 8 helicopters. With the Hyuga helicopter destroyers, the 1 helo capability of the Atago is not as vital.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                      I believe each of the Japanese escort flotillas used the 8 8 rule, 8 ships with 8 helicopters. With the Hyuga helicopter destroyers, the 1 helo capability of the Atago is not as vital.
                      The U.S. Navy tried a similar tap dance routine when the Burkes first joined the fleet; I did not buy it then, I don't buy it now. There is no system onboard a ship that is as widely used as the ubiquitous helicopter.
                      Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                      Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                      Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                        What is your definition of seriously tested? IMO no Post WWII ships have been seriously tested.

                        The Burke Class and its Japanese and Korean derivatives the largest class of surface combatants built since WWII, around 70 ships and counting.
                        Seriously tested is something more than shooting up pirate skiffs used by the Somalis. The USS Cole passed the damage test, but so far their weapons and CIC have not really been put to the touch.
                        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                          I believe each of the Japanese escort flotillas used the 8 8 rule, 8 ships with 8 helicopters. With the Hyuga helicopter destroyers, the 1 helo capability of the Atago is not as vital.
                          I like the idea of a destroyer/cruiser to have the ability for independent actions/missions. Two helos really helps make sure they are capable with regard to air assets. Depend on other ships as little as possible. Redundancy is good in battle.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bass_man86 View Post
                            The U.S. Navy tried a similar tap dance routine when the Burkes first joined the fleet; I did not buy it then, I don't buy it now. There is no system onboard a ship that is as widely used as the ubiquitous helicopter.
                            All of Japan's helicopter capable ships are limited to one helo except for the helicopter destroyers. It could be a political thing, certainly the Atago could be easily reconfigured to hold 2 helicopters.

                            Seriously tested is something more than shooting up pirate skiffs used by the Somalis. The USS Cole passed the damage test, but so far their weapons and CIC have not really been put to the touch.
                            The Cole and the USN ships that shoot up pirates skiffs are Burke class boats. The Atago's are basically the same class. Although the Atagos were made to mercantile specs vs. military specs.

                            I like the idea of a destroyer/cruiser to have the ability for independent actions/missions. Two helos really helps make sure they are capable with regard to air assets. Depend on other ships as little as possible. Redundancy is good in battle.
                            I like to point out the the Burkes are used as workhorses and the Atagos are flagships. So these two ships have 2 different mission parameters.
                            Last edited by IDonT4; 28 Apr 10, 15:53.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ...the Atagos were made to mercantile specs vs. military specs.
                              That I did not realize!

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