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Japan commissions first Maya-class guided-missile destroyer

19 March 2020
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The JMSDF commissioned JS Maya (seen here during its launch ceremony in 2018), the first of two Improved Atago-class destroyers, on 19 March in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Source: Kosuke Takahashi

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned the first of two Maya (Improved Atago)-class, Aegis-equipped destroyers in a ceremony held on 19 March in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Named JS Maya (pennant number 179), the 170 m-long warship was inducted into the service’s Escort Division 1 of Escort Flotilla 1 at the Yokosuka naval base shortly after being handed over by shipbuilding company Japan Marine United (JMU) Corporation, a JMSDF spokesperson told Jane’s.

Maya, which is now the seventh operational JMSDF ship equipped with the Aegis Combat System, was laid down in April 2017 and launched in July 2018. The second vessel of the class, Haguro (pennant number 180), was launched in July 2019 and is expected to enter service in March 2021.

Maya, which cost about JPY172 billion (USD1.61 billion) to build, is 5 m longer than the Atago-class destroyers operated by the JMSDF.

The destroyer is equipped with the Aegis Baseline J7 supported by the Lockheed Martin/Raytheon AN/SPY-1D(V) phased array radar and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band (NATO I-band) (8-12.5 GHz) high-resolution fire-control radar.

The ship is equipped with the US-developed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, which enables the destroyer to act as part of a wider ‘grid’ of sensors and weapon platforms that allow other CEC-equipped ships and military aircraft – such as Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft – to share surveillance and targeting information. With this capability, the ship will be able to better counter threats such as those posed by North Korean ballistic missiles.

The two Maya-class ships will field Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles designed to intercept short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The destroyers are also expected to deploy Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) air-defence missiles in the near future.

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