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DD-110 Takanami Class

This new class of five ships, a modified Murasame class design, was first requested in 1998. Under the program schedule, the first warship was launched in July of 2001, with equipping to be completed in March of 2003. The second warship was launched in September of 2001 at the Mitsubishi Nagasaki shipyard.

The Takanami class, a revised edition of Murasame class, features the Mk-48VLS (Vertical Launch System) which is used exclusively for anti-aircraft missiles, instead of the Mk-41VLS (Vertical Launch System). The 3 inch gun on the Murasame was replaced by a 5 inch gun.

At least the first two units of this class are named after ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy's Yugumo class fleet destroyer. The Yugumo was similar in design with the Kagero class destroyers, but with several minor differences. The Yugumo's were the first to equipped with depth charges when built, rather then modified after construction to carry them.

Namesakes

The Yugumo-class destroyer Takanami ("the mountainous wave") was sunk during the Battle of Tassafaronga, 30th November 1942. The two opposing task forces clashed in the Battle of Tassafaronga. American destroyers launched torpedoes as the enemy range came within five miles of Pensacola's cruiser formation. Now gun flashes, tracers, and star shell candles stained the inky darkness. Japanese destroyer Takanami, hit many times, was afire and exploding. By virtue of her large radar return, and the faulty fire-dispersion proceedures on US ships, the Takanami had been the target of 37 203mm guns and 10 152mm guns without counting possible 127mm fire. She was literally blown out of the water. Takanami was the only Japanese ship damaged or sunk in the battle.

Built by Fujinagata, the Yugumo-class destroyer Onami ("storm surge") was completed on December 29th, 1942. The Onami made escort runs from Turk to numerous destinations, and back. She was sunk off Bougainville during the Battle of Capt St. George. On 25 November 1943 five American destroyers moved north to search the Rabaul-Buka line, and at 0141 on 25 November, a radar surface contact was made as the squadron patrolled in St. George ChanneL. USS DYSON, USS SPENCE, and USS CHARLES AUSBURNE reached the desired torpedo firing point on the enemy's port bow, launched 15 torpedoes, and promptly turned 90 degrees right to avoid any fish the enemy might offer. The torpedoes struck; the Yugumo-class ONAMI disintegrated in a ball of fire 300 feet high. The Onami was lost with all hands, including Captain Kagawa Kiyoto.

Initially this was projected to be a class of eight ships. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) accepted its fifth and final Takanami-class destroyer, Suzunami, into service with the 3rd Escort Flotilla on 16 February 2006. An enhanced version of the Murasame-class design, the 4,550 ton displacement Suzunami, has enhanced network capability through the Maritime Operation Force System and is the first in class to be fitted with Link 16, rather than Link 11. The other four Takanami-class Link 11 outfits will now be replaced by Link 16 during regular maintenance periods.



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