- Mitsui has revealed a new LHD design that it is positioning for possible future JMSDF requirements
- Industry sources believe Japan will significantly improve its amphibious capabilities in the coming years
Japanese shipbuilder Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding has revealed a landing helicopter dock (LHD) design in anticipation of further requirements for the platform from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).
The design was unveiled at the MAST Asia 2017 exhibition, which ran in Tokyo from 12-14 June.
Known as the Mitsui LHD, the platform has been designed with experience from building the country's Oosomi-class LPDs. Mitsui was responsible for the construction of the class's first and third ships, which were commissioned by the JMSDF in March 1998 and February 2003, respectively.
The Mitsui LHD has an overall length of 210 m, an overall width of 35 m, a draught of 7 m, and a standard displacement of 16,000 tonnes, according to specifications provided by the company.
The ship can take a maximum complement of 200 people and accommodate up to five helicopters on its flight deck. Space for about five to six more helicopters is also provided in the vessel's aircraft hangar located beneath the flight deck. The ship can embark up to two landing craft air cushion-like vessels in its well deck and about 20 amphibious assault vehicles, such as the BAE AAV7A1, in its forward storage section.
The Mitsui LHD can be equipped with a range of defences according to the customer's requirements, but a visualisation of the platform shown at MAST Asia 2017 shows two close-in weapon system turrets, one each on the forward and aft sections.
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