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“Izumo” Largest Warship Since 1945
By Harold Hutchison

Japan is launching its largest warship since the end of World War II – and it looks a lot like a new aircraft carrier. The Izumo is the newest, most powerful “helicopter destroyer” to enter service with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The Izumo class is a follow-on to the Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers, which also look like small aircraft carriers. The Izumos displace about 6,000 tons more than the Hyuga-class, which come in at 13,500 tons.

Japan has been dealing with Chinese incursions into waters around the Senkaku Islands. The Izumo-class destroyers can carry up to 14 helicopters each, and are also equipped with Phalanx close-in weapon systems and Rolling Airframe Missiles.