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Japan launches the Izumo destroyer
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 08 - 08 - 2013

Japan has launched its largest military ship since the second world war, the 19,500-ton Izumo, at a ceremony in Yokohama, UPI quoted Kyodo News as reporting.
The 813-foot-long, 125-foot-wide destroyer will be deployed with the Maritime Self-Defense Force in March 2015.
The destroyer, built by IHI Marine United -- previously called Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries -- will be helicopter-equipped and the first of two Izumo-class ships planned by Japan.
The Izumo's flight deck is nearly 820 feet long and can carry as many as 14 helicopters.
But the deck is not a ski-jump design and there is no catapult system that would enable conversion into an aircraft carrier.
A report by DefenseTalk in 2010 suggested that because of the large deck, the vessel could carry vertical take-off and landing aircraft, such as Lockheed Martin's F35B variant of the Strike Fighter.
The Izumo and its forthcoming sister ship, yet to be named, compliment Japan's two recently-built 13,950-ton Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers, also built by IHI Marine United.
The Hyuga, was commissioned in March 2009 and is stationed in Yokosuka, near Tokyo.
The second Hyuga-class ship, Ise, was inducted into service in March 2011 and is stationed at Kure.
The launch of the Izumo comes as concerns have been raised by Japan and other countries bordering the East China Sea over disputed islands claimed by Beijing, especially since China's first aircraft carrier entered service in September last year.
The 55,000-ton carrier, formerly known as the Soviet ship Varyag, was renamed Liaoning during a commissioning ceremony, China's state-owned newspaper China Daily reported at the time.
China is among the small group of nations -- the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Spain, Italy, India, Brazil and Thailand -- operating aircraft carriers.

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