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Sea Links

October 30, 2009

Two SH-60K Sea Hawk helicopters lift off from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181) during a rehearsal for the 2009 fleet review.

US Navy


Northrop Grumman to lay keel for Ford-class carrier.

Northrop Grumman-built amphibious assault vessel commissioned.

Navy to commission USS Dewey DDG-105 in Seal Beach.

Admiral: Complacency Caused U.S. Sub Collision.

Toward a More Muscular U.S. Pacific Command?

US Destroyer accidentally fires on Polish port.

Naval Hawks Over Arabian Seas.

Navy ponders advanced shipboard radar system for missile, air, and surface defense.

Warships of the World


Royal Navy’s Latest Ship Launched on Clyde. More.

River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels.

HMS Lancaster visits “the Rock”.

Japan Achieves Second Ballistic Missile Intercept.

Japanese navy destroyer collides with South Korean freighter.

Japan’s navy holds review.

Israeli urgently orders two stealth corvettes from Germany. More.

Report: Iran acquired submarines from N. Korea.

‘Aircraft carrier’ spotted on Chinese mainland.

Chinese Navy ship to visit Japan.

China’s Carrier is Cause for Concern.

The Shifting Strategic Priorities of the Russian Navy.

Big Robots Operate In The Shadows.

Tackling Pirates

British yacht couple kidnapped by Somali pirates. Yacht found. Couple Alive.

Russia has lifted the arrest from the Arctic Sea vessel.

Trawler opens fire on pirates.

Belgian Navy under pressure…

International Navy mission helps West Africa fight illegal maritime activities.

US drones protecting ships from Somali pirates.

U.S.: Fleets must upgrade to fight piracy.

Piracy: Going beyond what navies can do.

HMCS Fredericton sails to Somalia.

Indian Navy joins the war on pirates.

From the Navy Vaults

Top 10 Ghost Ships. (TopTenz)

Flypast celebrates 100 years of British navy air power. (AFP)

Chinese Paddle-wheel ships. (Cog and Galley)

Crews of the Byzantine Fleets. (Cog and Galley)

Navigation and Ships in China. (Cog and Galley)

Sunday Ship History: The Battle of Leyte Gulf. (Eagle1)

Iraq Campaign Underscores Value Of Jumpjets. (Lexington Institute)

Carrier Going Down In A Sea Of Red Ink. (Strategypage)

My Falklands War. (Royal Navy Memories)

The world wonders. (Scoop Deck)

32 Comments leave one →
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  7. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 2, 2009 8:44 pm

    I was tempted to post on the missing British couple. A fascinating story!

  8. November 2, 2009 8:05 pm


    I believe it was ‘Tora’ who brought up Typhoons in relation to the 22DDH. Ships this size have possessed catapults & arresting gear in the past. Who’s to say what -might- be in the planning.

  9. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 2, 2009 7:55 pm

    That was also the first tie I saw reference to it having a truck park/transport function.

    The underway refueling function that seemed to surprise most of the readers is of course common on US carriers.

    Would not expect Typhoons since no provision for catapults or arresting gear, but would bet they have contingency plans for F-35s on all their aviation ships already. Ski jump plans are probably already in a vault some where.

  10. November 2, 2009 7:29 pm


    I just read through all of ‘Tora’s posts across the last several pages of that thread concerning CVs, DDHs, etc. The 22DDH will apparently lack the VLS cells of the Hyuga-class DDHs. Instead, there will be two CIWS gun mounts and either two SeaRAM or two RAM. So, either the escorts provide the area AAW SAM protective envelope for the 22DDH or else the ship itself provides its own AAW component by carrying JSF or Typhoon fighters.

  11. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 2, 2009 6:52 pm

    Also ran across another site that also referenced 248 meters:

    Very close to the Cavour in size but Japan is apparently planning on going light on the crew, at least until danger is more immediate.

  12. November 2, 2009 6:45 pm


    Well, the 22DDH (at 248 meters [818 ft]) is still longer than the Italian Cavour or the RN Invincible-class. One does still have to wonder about that light displacement of only 19,500 tons.

    And that certainly isn’t anything like anyone else’ concept of what actual destroyers displace. Perhaps they should reclassify this new type as BCH (helicopter battle-cruiser) so that it properly reflects its diplacement – if not its actual function as a CV or CVL.

  13. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 2, 2009 6:03 pm

    Found this link, see in the comments a reference to the new class, but he reports a different length, 248 meters (818 ft) which I find more believable.

  14. November 2, 2009 5:53 pm

    Duh, I forgot the link / URL to the news article!

    Rival Somali groups fight over British couple

  15. November 2, 2009 5:50 pm

    Here are some additional, recent developments relating to Somali piracy:

    1) Different Somali groups are fighting over control of a kidnapped British couple;

    2) One Somali and one Yemeni were killed and three other ‘fishermen’ were wounded (as reported elsewhere) in a shootout with Norwegian sailors;

    3) Two skiffs containing apparent Somali pirates attempted to seize an American merchant vessel.

    MOGADISHU, Somalia — Rival pirates and militia groups have fought for control over a British couple held hostage for more than a week, an Islamic militia commander and a local elder said Monday. The couple were not injured in the fighting.

    Meanwhile, an American-flagged cargo vessel came under gunfire from suspected Somali pirates but managed to escape, a U.S. Navy spokesman said. Also Monday, the MV Harriette was targeted by pirates aboard two skiffs about 360 nautical miles off Mombasa, Kenya, Lt. Nate Christensen said. The pirates — about six in each craft — came within 3 feet (a meter) of the cargo vessel but were unable to board, Christensen said from U.S. 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain.

    The attack came a day after a Norwegian warship clashed with suspected Somali pirates, the European Union’s anti-piracy force said. A statement from the force said a team from Norwegian warship HNOMS Fridjof Nansen on Sunday went to talk to the crew of four fishing boats near Alula, a northeastern Somali coastal village known for piracy. The crew on the first three boats cooperated but when the Norwegian team approached the fourth boat, shots were fired at them. The team fired in self-defense and retreated to avoid further violence, the statement said. Alula village head Hareed Issa Omar claimed the Norwegian team fired first, killing a Somali and a Yemeni man — whom he said were fishermen and not pirates.

  16. November 2, 2009 5:36 pm


    No problem. You should hear what bank tellers do to my last name (when they first encounter it).

    I mostly used “US Warships Since 1945″ by Paul H. Silverstone for most of my information (1986, Ian Allan Ltd., London, ISBN 0 7110 1598 8). I also used Wikipedia, of course.

    I believe the CV-9 specs (USS Essex) were the original class characteristics for the short-hulled Essex-class CVs. Oriskany (CV-34) is described as having a 33,250 ton standard displacement and a 42,635 ton full load displacement. Antietam (CV-36) purportedly had figures of 30,000 and 38,000 tons, respectively. There appears to be a great deal of variation within the class as they were launched in their various configurations.


    As to 22DDH dimensions and displacement figures, well then – just recall the stories about the displacement of the IJNS Mogami class of CLs when built under the 1930s London / Washington Naval Treaties’ limiting requirements. Very soon those light cruisers (armed with fifteen 6″ guns) became heavy cruisers (CAs) armed with ten 8” guns (as pre-planned during their design and construction).

  17. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 2, 2009 4:02 pm

    Reddick, sorry I got your first initial wrong.

  18. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 2, 2009 3:44 pm

    Frankly I have some difficulty reconciling some of the information in the “Strategypage” posting. It says that the ship is, “37% larger than Hyuga and displaces 19,500 ton empty” but then later says, “its two approved carriers, which are around 265 m long and are only 70 m shorter than a Nimitz-class carrier.”

    Being three dimensional objects, if we keep the proportions the same, increasing the displacement by 37% would only increase the length about 12%. If we considered increases in only length and beam a 37% increase in displacement would require less than a 20% increase in those dimensions.

    Going from 650 ft for the Hyuga to 875ft for the 22HHD is a 35% increase of length alone. Seems either the length should be less or the displacement more.

    R. E. Reddick,

    Sounds like your specs for the Essex were after some modification. Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1922-1946, published 1980, indicates that as built, the short hull Essex class (CV 9-13, 16-18, 20, and 31) were 872ft, and that Essex was 27,208 tons standard and 34,881 tons full load. Of course they got longer and heavier over time.

    The 19,500 tons light and 875 ft reported for 22DDH would actually be larger than the Yorktown (CV-4) class (Yorktown, Enterprise, Hornet) which was 19,875 tons standard (light displacement would have been considerably less) and 825 ft overall.

    Hyuga is already nearly the same size as the Saipan Class, as you say well outside the norms for destroyers.

  19. November 2, 2009 2:04 am


    What if there were two to four smaller cruise diesels installed in conjunction with the four gas turbines for some version of CODAG propulsion? Then the 22DDH might be capable of sprint speeds of 32 to 34 knots (if the JMSDF were to try for 35 or 36 knots that I’m afraid they might replicate one of the problems found with the pre-WW-II IJNS Mogami-class CLs — falling apart at top speed).


    As to the Essex-class CVs, the 22DDH has a slightly shorter flight deck (875 ft. versus 899 ft. for CV-9 USS Essex). The earliest launched hulls of the Essex-class had a standard displacement of 33,100 tons and a full load displacement of 41,900 tons.

    This does place the 22DDH class characteristics midway between the Saipan-class of CVLs and the Essex-class of CVs. That is far outside the usual range of displacement for any typical, modern destroyer.

  20. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 2, 2009 1:32 am

    First I doubt if even the light displacement of a 875ft ship would be as low as 20,000 tons, but even if it is, that is a full load displacement of about 30,000 tons. It is essentially the size of an Essex class carrier or the Sao Paulo (ex-Foch)–Considerably larger than the Invincibles. I would expect an airwing of 30 to 40.

    It will be interesting to see how it is powered. Four LM-2500s in their latest iteration should give a total of 120,000 HP. That would give just about 30 knots. Will be interesting if they go for even more power.

  21. November 1, 2009 11:10 pm


    You said: “875 feet long, some destroyer.”

    Oh, yeah!

    Saipan-class CVLs of WW-II were 684 feet in length (overall) and had displacements of 14,500 tons standard and 20,000 tons full load. They were built upon modified Baltimore heavy cruiser (CA) hulls.

    Post-WW-II heavy cruisers (CAs) of the Des Moines class were 717 feet in length (overall) with a standard displacement of 17,000 tons and a full load displacement of 21,500 tons.

    WW-II Large Cruisers (BCs: Big-Cruisers; or a.k.a. Battle-Cruisers) of the Alaska Class were 809 feet in length (overall) with a standard displacement of 27,500 tons and a full load displacement of 32,500 tons.


    So, the 22DDH-class will be 875 feet in length and have a standard displacement of 19,500 tons (and try to guess what its full load displacement might turn out to be).

    DDG-1000 USS Zumwalt (if ever built) is projected to be 600 feet in length and to have a displacement of 14,564 tons (standard, I presume).

    Amazingly, Zumwalt-class destroyers would seem to be closer to any recently introduced modern destroyer’s displacement than the 22DDH-class helicopter destroyers.


    Oh, and to keep things balanced – Soviet / Russian Kirov-class battle-cruisers feature a length of 830 feet, a standard displacement of 24,300 tons, and a full displacement of 28,000 tons.

    Also, Soviet ex-Admiral Gorshkov, Russian ex-Baku, presumably soon-to-be INS Vikramaditya (if ever delivered) was a hybrid cruiser / carrier platform. It wasn’t either type – neither fish nor fowl. It was / is 896 feet in length. The full displacement was on the order of 43,000 to 45,000 tons.


    I am simply confused about whether to be amused, astounded, or confounded by the enlargement of ‘destroyer-class’ vessels into the realm of battle-cruisers. If destroyers ever reach the range of displacement found in ex-Admiral Gorshkov / ex-Baku then I would expect them to be able to lift from the sea’s surface and reach orbit and from there conduct military operations throughout the Solar System. ;-)

  22. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 1, 2009 10:09 pm

    875 feet long, some destroyer.

  23. November 1, 2009 9:08 pm


    Similar, but certainly smaller than the planned / building USS America (LHA-6). Also, there’s only a single deck-edge elevator (the second one is a center-line lift instead of the 2nd deck-edge elevator as found in USN LHDs & LHAs). And, I don’t see any indication of those 16 VLS cells (12 ASROC & 16 ESSM in four quad-packs) that are installed in the Hyuga class. With a ship this large and valuable I would certainly install 32, 48, 64, or even more VLS cells armed with ASROC, ESSM, and at least some Standard SM-2MR (or more modern equivalent).

  24. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 1, 2009 8:54 pm

    Looks like an American LHA, right?

  25. November 1, 2009 8:43 pm


    I found this 22DDH thread at Strategy Page. The two comparative images with both 16DDH (Hyuga design) and the proposed new 22DDH are informative (posts # 1 & # 3).

    Subject: Japan greenlights 22DDH, a real light aircraft carrier(JMSDF insists it’s just a destroyer)

  26. November 1, 2009 6:53 pm

    This is the weekend, isn’t it (like, it should be a slow news cycle – right…)? This popped up just a short while ago. It would seem that Somali pirates have no ability to recognize the French tricolor (considering how often they’ve attacked French-flagged yachts, tuna haulers, and even naval warships – and then got killed or captured for their efforts against French maritime interests):

    French tuna boat repels pirates

    A French fishing boat repelled a Somali pirate hijack attempt by firing warning shots and fireworks at the attackers, the French military said on Sunday.

    The Avel Vad was sailing with another vessel in the area between the Somali coast and the Seychelles when it was attacked at 0730 GMT on Saturday.

    A skiff from a pirate ship began approaching “with aggressive intent”, the French military said.

    Soldiers aboard the tuna boat fired fireworks and warning shots at the pirates, scaring them off. They have not been caught.

  27. November 1, 2009 5:58 pm

    Here are the two fixed links / URLs for the Somali piracy items posted above. Something went awry with my picking them up and pasting them here:

    Spain allows armed guards on ships in danger zones


    Norwegian warship in sea-battle off Somali coast: EU

  28. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 1, 2009 5:48 pm

    D.E., seems I heard that too. Probably Strategypage and sounds logical.

  29. November 1, 2009 5:48 pm

    Here are two new developments in the war against Somali Piracy. I posted these two items (as separate pieces) over at EagleSpeak. I’m combining them for posting here:

    The Spanish government appears to have finally recognized the truth of the situation its Tuna fishing fleet faces in the Indian Ocean tuna fishing grounds north of the Seychelles Islands.

    Spain allows armed guards on ships in danger zones

    MADRID, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Spain passed a law on Friday allowing armed security guards on board vessels in dangerous waters such as the Indian Ocean, where a Spanish fishing vessel was captured by Somali pirates almost a month ago.…is/ idUSLU707043


    Somali pirates and the crew of the Norwegian AEGIS-equipped AAW frigate HNOMS Fridjof Nansen exchanged fire according to the following article (the exchange of fire seems to have occurred between between a pirate dhow and a RHIB from the frigate).

    Norwegian warship in sea-battle off Somali coast: EU

    BRUSSELS — A Norwegian warship inspecting fishing boats off the coast of Somalia for suspected pirate activity was caught in heavy gunfire in the early hours of Sunday, a European Union naval commander said.

    The Norwegian sailors, cruising just off the north-eastern Somali coast, were fired upon in the dead of night by a dhow with between five and seven men on board and armed with heavy weaponry and Kalashnikov rifles, he added.

    “These were not innocent fishermen, they were armed with heavy machine-guns and Kalashnikovs and were clearly up to no good,” said John Harbour of the EU naval mission in the Gulf of Aden, Operation Atalanta.

    “I have been in touch with the ship concerned,” he said. “The guys in the boarding party got a shock, because they had inspected three other dhows nearby, all anchored, and all of which cooperated. When they approached the fourth, they were fired upon — and clearly became nervous. The boarding party returned fire in self-defence — and retreated to 1,000 metres (yards), because their main job was to escort a World Food Programme aid ship which had to keep moving.” hostednews…JxtKHn9VEy9qGyw

  30. November 1, 2009 5:38 pm


    Somewhere, somewhen… I read something that described the follow-on class to the the Hyuga and Ise. Bigger and badder – larger than the RN Invincible class with a displacement of 27 or 28 kilotons. I did a quick search and didn’t find anything that I could recognize as what I’d seen previously. That follow-on class of DDHs has been discussed, but I cannot presently find the source. Perhaps it was over at – I don’t know.

  31. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 30, 2009 6:52 pm

    Always a pleasure Chuck, and you bring up a good point about the aging Japanese escorts. Could it be like the USN and the RN they have focused so much on capital vessels, new carriers and Aegis warships, to the detriment of the flotilla? Then they are sent to the Gulf to fight the pirates. But I think someone is looking for a fight with all these mighty and destructive vessels. Be careful what you wish for…

  32. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 30, 2009 3:45 pm

    Mike thanks again for collecting these sources for us.

    Reports of the collision between the Japanese DDH and Korean container ship got me to look up the DDH and I was surprised to find it is 28 years old and her sister is 29 years old, but the Japanese have not yet begun a replacement for them.

    This is very surprising in that the Japanese are normally very diligent about replacing aging ships. If they were going to replace them with third and fourth units of the Hyuga class I would have thought they would have announced it by now.

    This leads me to believe that the replacement ships will be a different class, probably larger and another step closer to a true carrier, perhaps 30,000 tons.

    The Japanese seem to be moving in that direction in baby steps:

    the original DDHs:

    the Osumi Class:

    the Hyuga:

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