Another massive Japanese warship makes the news this month! Shortly after the colossal Musashi was found in Philippine waters 70 years after it sank in World War II, the Japanese Navy takes delivery of the 250m- aircraft carrier Izumo. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look.
Just a few weeks after long-lost World War II warship Musashi made the news—Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and a team of researchers had found one of the war’s largest battleships decades after it sank in 1944—another massive Japanese war vessel takes center stage in the media. Late last March, the Japanese Navy took delivery of the Izumo, a massive helicopter carrier that has been described as the country’s biggest warship since the days of World War II.
The 24,000-ton Izumo is 250m or over 800 feet in length, can hold 28 aircraft, and has a crew of 470. At this size, the vessel matches the scale of massive aircraft carriers Japan had all over the region during the Second World War. The Izumo, however, is specifically designated not as an aircraft carrier but as a “helicopter carrier.” The Minister of Defense had also described the vessel as potentially useful for peacekeeping missions, international disaster aid and relief, and as a defense against submarines.
The non-offensive positioning of what the Izumo is capable of, is in line with Japan’s Peace Constitution. It should be noted that following WWII, Japan has been bound by a pacifist constitution that keeps them from having the offensive means to engage in war. This includes owning aircraft carriers.
The constitution, which went into effect in 1947, is being challenged by the defensive needs of a country amidst a regional atmosphere charged with international unease, including territorial tensions with China and their proximity to an unpredictable North Korea.
^ Brumfield, Ben. “Microsoft co-founder shows WWII’s largest battleship, 70 years after its sinking.” CNN, 13 Mar 2015. Web. 10 Apr 2015. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/13/asia/paul-allen-japanese-battleship-musashi-livestream/
^ Charlton, Corey. “The sun rises again: Japan shows off the awesome might of its re-emerging naval power with new colossal helicopter carrier – its biggest warship since WWII.” Mail Online, 25 Mar 2015. Web. 10 Apr 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3010499/Japanese-navy-gets-biggest-flat-WWII-era-aircraft-carriers.html
^ “Japan gets Biggest Warship Since WWII.” The Maritime Executive, 25 Mar 2015. Web. 10 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/japan-gets-biggest-warship-since-wwii
^ “Japanese navy gets biggest flat-top since WWII-era aircraft carriers.” Yahoo! News, 25 Mar 2015. Web. 10 Apr 2015. http://news.yahoo.com/japanese-navy-gets-biggest-flat-top-since-wwii-044524192–sector.html
^ Panda, Ankit. “Japan Launches Its Largest Post-World War II Warship.” The Diplomat, 27 Mar 2015. Web. 10 Apr 2015. http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/japan-launches-its-largest-post-world-war-ii-warship/