Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Fuck You China!
Well, here's about the biggest middle finger I can think of that anyones given China in a while.
What we have here is the newly commissioned (yesterday 8/6/13) Japanese "destroyer class" Izumo. It is classified as a "flat top destroyer" but if you're like me (and the rest of the sentient world) this looks much more like a carrier. And it will be used as a carrier--just as a helicopter carrier only (supposedly) for now.
The 14 helicopters and "destroyer" will be used for anti-submarine, surveillance and disaster relief duties for now. Correct me if I'm wrong however but typically you want your anti-submarine ships to be fast, small and nimble--not the lumbering, conventionally powered (the Japanese seem to still be averse to nuclear power within their armed forces) bullseye that this ship represents. You don't invest the capital required (some $1.2 billion) in a ship and staff it with some 1,000 crew to go hunt submarines.
While China has been busy buying old Russian carriers and trying to refurbish them and put them into service, Japan has just leapfrogged China's capability to project power in the region. Though satellite shots show China having just begun construction on its first home built aircraft carrier this week (full construction to take about five years).
Though not nuclear powered, Japan doesn't seek here to project power across the globe and a conventional ship such as this can easily ply the waters around Japan and the South China Sea. With the F-35B on order by Japan being a short/VTOL aircraft, the Izumo instantly becomes a massive thorn in China's side and one which they really have no counter to at the moment. Oh, and Japan has the build of a second one of these "destroyers" already underway.
For comparison's sake here is the size of the Izumo (the largest Japanese military ship put into service since WWII)
Izumo (commissioned 2013):
Weight--19,500 tons (empty)
Gerald Ford Class American SuperCarrier (to be commissioned 2016)
Kuznetsov Class Carrier (China's current carrier bought from Russia, commissioned 1990)