Japan commissions lead 25DD destroyer JS ‘Asahi’

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its first 25DD destroyer JS Asahi in a ceremony on March 7.

The 5,100-ton destroyer was handed over to JMSDF by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard in Nagasaki on March 7 and the destroyer reached its permanent homeport in Sasebo a day later on March 8.

JS Asahi, with pennant number 119, is the first of two “general-purpose escort destroyers” which were designed on the basis of Akizuki-class destroyers but with a focus on anti-submarine instead of anti-air warfare.

Asahi was launched in October 2016 and started sea trials in July 2017. The second ship in the class, the JS Shiranui (DD-120), was launched in October 2017 and is expected to be commissioned in March 2019.

25DD destroyers are lauded as fuel-efficient ships featuring COGLAG, a combined gas turbine engine and electric propulsion system. They measure 151 meters in length and reach speeds of 30 knots, according to the Japan defense ministry. Armament includes Mark 41 vertical launch systems for self protection, 62-caliber naval guns, close-in weapon systems and two Mark 32 surface vessel torpedo tubes.

The destroyers will have a complement of around 230 and embark one Mitsubishi-built SH-60J/K are anti-submarine patrol helicopter.

Aft view of JS Asahi. Photo: JMSDF