25 November 2009
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) has said it will build a helicopter destroyer that is able to defend China's naval build-up and enhance responses for contingencies.
The 248m-long helicopter destroyer will have a displacement of 19,500t and a capability to transport up to 14 helicopters, 4,000 people and 50 trucks, according to asahi.com.
As the largest ship in the MSDF fleet, the destroyer will also be able to refuel other ships.
In October 2009, the country's new budget requests for defence capabilities included 118.1bn yen for the construction of a helicopter destroyer to replace the destroyer Shirane that is scheduled to be decommissioned in the 2014 fiscal year.
The helicopter carrier will allow up to five surveillance helicopters to land and take-off simultaneously.
The MSDF's latest helicopter destroyer, the Hyuga, was commissioned in March 2008 and has a length of 197m and a width of 33m.