Hatsuyuki-class destroyer

The Hatsuyuki-class destroyer (はつゆき型護衛艦, Hatsuyuki-gata-goei-kan) is a class of destroyer, serving with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). It was the first class of first generation of general-purpose destroyers of the JMSDF.[1]

Class overview
Name: Hatsuyuki class
Operators:  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Preceded by: Yamagumo class
Succeeded by: Asagiri class
Built: 19791986
In commission: 1982
Completed: 12
Active: 5 (2)
Retired: 7
General characteristics
Type: General-purpose destroyer (DD)
  • 2,950 tons standard,
  • 4,000 tons hull load
Length: 130 m (430 ft)
Beam: 13.6 m (44 ft 7 in)
  • 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
  • 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) (DD 129 to DD 132)
Speed: 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h)
Complement: 200
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • OYQ-5 tactical data system
  • FCS-2 fire-control system
  • OPS-14 air search radar
  • OPS-18 surface search radar
  • OQS-4 hull sonar
  • OQR-1 TASS (in some ships)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 × HSS-2B or SH-60J helicopter


Destroyers of the JMSDF had been divided into two series, anti-aircraft gun fire oriented destroyers (DDA) and ASW-oriented destroyers (DDK). However, in the 1970s, a drastic review of the fleet became necessary due to the enhancement of the Soviet submarine fleet and the reinforcement of the anti-ship missiles. After consideration by Operations research, eight ships / eight helicopters concept was adopted as a new fleet organization. In this concept, each flotillas would be composed of one helicopter destroyer (DDH), five general-purpose destroyers (DD), and two guided missile destroyers (DDG).[2]

General-purpose destroyers (汎用護衛艦, Hanyou-goei-kan) are a new type of destroyers for this concept, combining the anti-aircraft capability of the DDA and the anti-submarine capability of the DDK, while also capable of operating missiles and helicopters. This was the first class to be built based on this concept.[1]


The hull structure was based on the shelter deck style adopted in the Isuzu class, and a long forecast style was adopted which truncated the rear end. The shape under the water line resembles JDS Amatsukaze. In order to reduce the noise, Prairie-Masker was installed after the 3rd ship and was also equipped with the 1st and 2nd ship at a later date.[1]

From DD-129 onward, steel replaced aluminium for key elements of the superstructure including the bridge from the viewpoint of resistance and durability. However, due to this design change, the ballast had to be installed, the displacement increased and the movement performance was deteriorated.[1]

It was the first class to use combined gas or gas (COGOG) propulsion system in the JMSDF. The all-gas-turbine propulsion system is composed of two Kawasaki-Rolls-Royce Tyne RM1C gas turbines for cruising and two Kawasaki-Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B gas turbines for high speed operation.[1]

This combination and mounting method of these engines are similar to the Type 21 frigates of the British Royal Navy, so it was not possible to adopt an alternating engine room arrangement like a conventional JMSDF destroyer, the lack of redundancy was pointed out.[1]


The core of the combat system is the OYQ-5 Tactical Data Processing System (TDPS), composed of one AN/UYK-20 computer and five OJ-194B workstations and capable of receiving data automatically from other ships via Link-14 (STANAG 5514).[1]

This is the first destroyer class in the JMSDF equipped with the Sea Sparrow Improved basic point defense missile system. The IBPDMS of this class uses FCS-2 fire-control systems of Japanese make and one octuple launcher at the afterdeck. And in the JMSDF, OTO Melara 76 mm compact gun and Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missile are adopted from the ship of FY1977 including this class.[1] Also, ships built in FY1979 and beyond carried Phalanx CIWS and were retrofitted to previous ships.[3]

This class introduced the capability of shipboard helicopter operations. While the JMSDF already had the Haruna-class "helicopter destroyer", the Hatsuyuki class were the first air-capable general purpose destroyer class. Although it has a small aviation deck, through a beartrap system, the class can operate the Mitsubishi HSS-2B anti-submarine helicopter safely in a wider range of weather conditions. Later, HSS-2B was replaced by Mitsubishi SH-60J, but there was no room to install a large data link device for SH-60J, so a simplified type was installed.[1]

Initially planned to carry out passive operation with sonobuoys laid by helicopters and towed array sonar (TASS) as sensors, but because development of TASS was delayed, it was retrofitted later on only four ships.[1] OQS-4 hull sonar was Japanese equivalent of American AN/SQS-56, and OQR-1 TASS was of AN/SQR-19.[3]


Four ships of this class have been re-purposed as training vessels: JS Shimayuki (1999), JS Shirayuki (2011), JS Setoyuki (2012) and JS Yamayuki (2016). These ships have been converted for training, yet they still have their weapons systems intact. They are referenced after the lead ship as the: Shimayuki-class.[4]

Ships in the class

NameLaid downLaunchedCommissionedDecommissionedShipyardHome
DD-122Hatsuyuki 14 March 19797 November 1980 23 March 198225 June 2010Sumitomo Heavy Industries, UragaYokosuka
Shirayuki 3 December 19794 August 1981 8 February 198227 April 2016Hitachi, MauzuruYokosukaConverted to training vessel (TV-3517) on 16 March 2011
DD-124Mineyuki 7 May 198119 October 1982 26 January 19847 March 2013Mitsubishi Heavy IndustriesMaizuru
DD-125Sawayuki 22 April 198121 June 1982 15 February 19841 April 2013IHI CorporationYokosuka
DD-126Hamayuki 4 February 198127 May 1982 18 November 198314 March 2012Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, TamanoMaizuru
DD-127Isoyuki 20 April 198219 September 1983 23 January 198513 March 2014IHI CorporationSasebo
DD-128Haruyuki 11 March 19826 September 1983 14 March 198513 March 2014Sumitomo Heavy Industries, UragaSasebo
Yamayuki 25 February 198310 July 1984 3 December 1985Hitachi, MauzuruKureConverted to training vessel (TV-3519) on 27 April 2016
DD-130Matsuyuki 7 April 198325 October 1984 19 March 1986IHI CorporationKure
Setoyuki 26 January 19843 July 1985 11 December 1986Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, TamanoKureConverted to training vessel (TV-3518) on 14 March 2012
DD-132Asayuki 22 December 198316 October 1985 20 February 1987Sumitomo Heavy Industries, UragaSasebo
Shimayuki 8 May 198429 January 1986 17 February 1987Mitsubishi Heavy IndustriesKureConverted to training vessel (TV-3513) on 18 March 1999


  1. Kōda 2015, pp. 188-207.
  2. Kōda 2015, pp. 167-169.
  3. Kōda 2015, pp. 170-179.
  4. John Harris (28 June 2016). "The evolution of Japanese destroyers after WWII". Naval Analyses. Retrieved 21 November 2019.


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