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DDG 163 Amatsukaze (Guided Missile Destroyer)

The DDG 163 Amatsukaze was Japan's first guided missile destroyer. Although outfitted similarly to the US Charles F.Adams class, the ship was of unmistakable Japanese design. The Maritime Self Defense Force's first guided missile escort ship was built under the first defense buildup plan, which the Self Defense Force started long-range planning from 1958. Before construction began it was decided that the design would make provision for the Tartar anti-aircraft missile system, which the United States was in the midst of developing in 1960 budget. Because completion of the Tartar system was late, start of work began in 1962. She was completed in the amazingly short time of 27 months, and afterwards, there was no similar type warship produced under this class.

The Tartar anti-aircraft missile was fired from the launcher which was installed on the rear deck. It was guided by the radio wave which is transmitted from the illuminator installed in the rear of the rear smokestack. In addition, also ASROC and various anti-submarine rockets were loaded as anti-submarine armament.

The Tartar system was modified to the Standard missile system after this new model guided missile was completed in the United States. In 1978 the Amatsukaze traded the original Tartar SAM system for the Standard SAM system. Also the radar system was upgraded at this time. SRBOC and SATCOM were introduced in 1982.

But, despite the modernization of the missile system and the radar, this could not prevent the deterioration of the combat potential of this ship, which was retired in 1995.




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