Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer Takanami (pennant number:110) left the Yokosuka port on 2nd February for the mission to gather intelligence to ensure the safety of commercial vessels connected to Japan in the Middle East.
Takanami is planned to join the JMDSF assets consist of two P-3C maritime patrol aircraft that left Japan on Jan. 11 for the nearly year-long assignment.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Defense Minister Taro Kono attended the ceremony on Feb. 2 to see the destroyer off.
“It is an important duty for the Japanese government to ensure the safety of vessels related to Japan,” Abe said. “The mission to gather necessary intelligence for the purpose has a great significance for the lives of Japanese people.”
Ninety percent of the Japanese imports of crude oil come from the Middle East.
The dispatch of the MSDF for the study and research assignment in the Middle East was approved by the Cabinet in December.
The destroyer and aircraft will cover the Gulf of Oman, the northern half of the Arabian Sea as well as the Gulf of Aden to the east of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.
The mission will continue through Dec. 26.
Takanami-class destroyer :
Takanami Class destroyers are in service with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF). Five destroyers were built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and IHI Corporation between 2000 and 2004. Takanami Class is preceded by Murasame Class and succeeded by Akizuki Class destroyers.
The Takanami Class destroyers are capable of conducting anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) operations.
The ship has an overall length of 151m, beam of 17.4m, depth of 10.9m and a draft of 5.3m. The full load displacement of the vessel is 4,650t. Takanami Class can complement a crew of 175.
The Takanami Class destroyers are fit with an Mk48 VLS (vertical launching system) for Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles. The Mk41 VLS installed on the ship can fire RUM-139 VL ASROC (anti-submarine rockets).
The Type 90 (SSM-1B) anti-ship missile onboard carries a 260kg warhead for a maximum range of 200km. The ship has two triple-mount Type 68 anti-submarine torpedo tubes, firing six Mk46 ASW torpedoes.