Military Review

On the initiative. New UDC project for MCC Japan


General view of the proposed ship

At the moment, Japan’s naval self-defense forces have only three Osumi-class universal landing ships built in the 1995-2008. The command considers it necessary to supplement them with new ships, and Japanese shipbuilders are already taking the necessary measures. The other day, the shipbuilding company Japan Marine United presented its new UDC project, developed on an initiative basis.

Pictures from the exhibition

This week, the next DSEI arms and equipment exhibition was held in Chiba, during which Japanese and foreign enterprises showed already well-known and completely new developments. The shipbuilding company Japan Marine United (JMU) this time showed layouts and materials for several projects. The most interesting is the promising UDC for Japan MSS.

The project is being developed on an initiative basis and without a direct order from the Japanese command. While it is in its early stages, and the construction of a finished UDC can only begin in the distant future. As a result, the exhibition showed only promotional materials with general views and characteristics of the ship.

The project does not yet have its own name. For its designation, the abbreviation FLHD (Future Landing Helicopter Dock - "Perspective Helicopter Dock") or LHD is used.

In the foreseeable future, JMU will propose a new project to the maritime self-defense forces. They will determine the need for such ships and, in the case of a positive decision, will evaluate the number of UDC for construction. However, the real prospects of this kind are still unknown.

Technical features

According to published data, the FLHD project proposes the construction of a typical universal landing ship with all the features inherent in this class. A large ship capable of transporting and supporting the operation of helicopters, land / amphibious equipment and boats will be offered to the customer.

According to the project, the UDC has a length of 220 m with a maximum width of 38 m and a draft of 7 m. The normal displacement is 19 thousand tons. The ship should have a flight deck with a superstructure of minimum size. The internal volume of the hull is given under the cockpit for the landing, the deck for equipment and the dock chamber for boats. An unnamed type main power plant will provide movement at speeds up to 24 nodes.

Like foreign counterparts, LHD will be able to transport a battalion of marine corps, along with standard equipment and landing and landing equipment. The interiors are designed for the transportation and accommodation of 500 people, including the crew of the ship.

The flight deck is designed to serve five helicopters or convertiplanes. Under it is a hangar deck with two rooms for five rotorcraft. Two elevators are provided for moving equipment to the deck and hangars, one in the center of the deck and the other on the starboard side of the hull.

The cargo deck, located in the bow and central parts of the hull, can accommodate up to 20 marine armored vehicles, depending on the tasks and type of equipment. The loading of self-propelled equipment is carried out on its own along the ramps. Unloading is carried out on the pier on its own, on landing boats in the docking chamber or directly on the water - in accordance with the plan of the landing operation.

The aft of the hull is given under the dock chamber of considerable size. It can simultaneously accommodate two boats of the LCAC type or other equipment of similar sizes. Entrance and exit from the chamber is carried out through the aft gate with a folding ramp.

The main task of the prospective UDC will be the transportation of personnel and equipment of various types. It also provides for the use of the ship in humanitarian operations. To solve these problems, it is proposed to deploy a field hospital or place other special equipment in the cargo compartments. Significant internal volumes can be used to transport various cargoes.

Key Features of LHD

The non-military use of UDC can be of great interest to the MSS. Japan regularly suffers from natural disasters, and the Self-Defense Forces are involved in helping the victims. A helicopter docking ship capable of transporting cargo, carrying equipment for various purposes, and even serving as a headquarters and field hospital, will be very useful in such circumstances.

The project involves the use of mixed missile-artillery and small arms for self-defense. On the bow and stern, it is proposed to place the Mk 15 Phalanx anti-aircraft installations with an 20-mm automatic machine. Also, the ship’s air defense can get a SeeRAM installation with RIM-116 RAM missiles. Around the perimeter of the ship it is possible to place machine guns to protect against small surface objects.

It should be noted that a similar appearance of the ship takes place only in the current version of the initiative project. In the future, the FLHD project can be developed and significantly changed in accordance with the wishes of the customer. However, one should not expect a radical restructuring - the main provisions of the project should remain unchanged.

Typical class representative

Presented at DSEI 2019, the new project of the universal landing craft from JMU looks quite interesting, but does not make much impression. The proposed UDC is in fact just another representative of its class, having a number of characteristic features.

By its design, characteristics and combat capabilities, FLHD is close to other modern UDC. There are no specific features that can attract attention and highlight LHD compared to other UDCs. Perhaps the ship will differ from the "classmates" in certain technological features, more modern equipment, etc. However, this does not change the overall picture.

It can be assumed why the project looks like this. As far back as 2014, the Japanese command announced its desire to acquire a new UDC in addition to the three existing ships of the Osumi type. The possibility of buying an American-built ship was considered, and the Wasp type UDC looked the most profitable and successful choice.

UDC "Osumi" - the lead ship of the same name project

Over the past five years, the desire of the command has not turned into a real contract. However, it spurred the development of its own Japanese military shipbuilding. As a result, to date, Japan Marine United has developed an initiative project, which mainly meets the requirements of the MCC.

In the proposed form, FLHD differs noticeably from Wasp type UDCs both in size and displacement, as well as in payload. However, it is of Japanese origin and can be built on its own shipyards. In addition, losing in the characteristics of the American ship, LHD bypasses its own Japanese "Osumi". Thus, the MSS in any case will be able to increase their capabilities.

From drawing to product

The first official show of materials on a new project from JMU took place just a few days ago. In the near future, the command of the Japanese MSS will become acquainted with the project. If it is interested in the proposal of domestic shipbuilders, work will continue. Accordingly, a construction contract may appear over the next few years.

However, the opposite scenario cannot be ruled out. The MSS command is still planning to strengthen the landing fleet, but the JMU LHD project is far enough from his vision of a promising UDC. As a result, the military department may not be interested in the proposed project, and it will not leave the development stage.

However, the argument in favor of the new Japanese project is the lack of any progress on the purchase of a foreign ship. After the 2014 statements, there was no real action, and the ships of the Osumi project still form the basis of the MSS landing forces. Thus, there is no actual competition, and FLHD is in a fairly good position.

The existence of a new UDC project was revealed only a few days ago, and its prospects are still unknown. The development company hopes to interest a potential customer, but he does not comment on its proactive development. The project will officially be presented the fleet in the near future, and only after that his future will be known. In the meantime, there is uncertainty that can be interpreted both in a positive and in a negative way.
Photos used:
Japan Marine United, Ministry of Defense of Japan

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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 25 November 2019 18: 10
    For some reason I’m sure that, unlike our Hamlet’s torment, the self-defense forces of the land of the rising sun are quickly determined by the project and quickly realized in metal.
    1. Axel
      Axel 25 November 2019 18: 27
      In fact, the Japanese are building very slowly, just in modern Russia, which has risen from its knees, the deadlines are generally off scale.
      Organization of production, corruption, staff turnover. A good welder will not work for 15 thousand per month, if he can make 60-80 thousand on coats.
      1. Yuri Beresnev
        Yuri Beresnev 9 December 2019 20: 38
        Well, if you build a destroyer-helicopter carrier from the bookmark to take it into operation in 3 years for you for a long time. I don’t know what standards you are guided by ... Except for China ...
    2. novel66
      novel66 25 November 2019 18: 41
      so they need it !! How to press the Kuril Islands?
  2. pack
    pack 25 November 2019 18: 24
    As for me, they would design it as a ship first of all for the Ministry of Emergencies.
    And the warriors will never get drunk anyway, just the sense of their little girls for ordinary people is absolutely not.
  3. knn54
    knn54 25 November 2019 19: 08
    And why should the forces of self-defense strengthen the landing fleet ???
    1. Greg Miller
      Greg Miller 25 November 2019 19: 49
      Well, they definitely won’t fight with China ... So, the Japanese have a very small choice ....
    2. New Year day
      New Year day 25 November 2019 21: 07
      Quote: knn54
      Why do the forces of self-defense

      SELF-DEFENSE remains only memories ...
    3. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 26 November 2019 16: 31
      Quote: knn54
      And why should the forces of self-defense strengthen the landing fleet ???

      And then, why do the forces self defense cruise missiles and aircraft-carrying destroyers. smile

      Ninth article of the Constitution of Japan:
      Sincerely striving for international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounces war as the sovereign right of the nation, as well as the threat or use of armed force as a means of resolving international disputes.
      To achieve the goal specified in the previous paragraph, ground forces, naval and air forces, as well as other means of war, will never be created again. The right to wage war by a state is not recognized.

      actually died. Shinzo Abe with his collective self-defense and the Parliament of Japan in 2015 legally secured the use of armed force outside of Japan, and even in the absence of an attack on Japan itself, to help the attacked allies of the Empire, or even in the event of a threat of attack alone.

      I’m all waiting for the Japanese to finally drop the fig leaf of Self-Defense and return to the original names: Imperial Army of Japan и Imperial Navy of Japan... The aircraft carrier "Kaga" (formally - a destroyer-helicopter carrier, but with the possibility of basing "penguins") they already have. smile
  4. Force
    Force 25 November 2019 19: 24
    That would write a review article about the DSEI 2019 exhibition
    I think there were a lot of interesting things yes
  5. Basarev
    Basarev 25 November 2019 20: 33
    Have you noticed too? Herbivorous Japan with thoroughly defensive forces, even the word army under a ban, has a clear need for UDC. And we have a significant point of view - even here at VO - that we do not need UDC.
    1. Greenwood
      Greenwood 26 November 2019 02: 54
      Quote: Basarev
      And we have a significant point of view - even here at VO - that we do not need UDC.
      We have no money in our country for anything. And the corruption is the wildest. Some are trying to justify this fact by the alleged uselessness of one type of weapon or another. And in fact, if all this "unnecessary" really began to build and enter into the combat strength, everyone would jump with delight.
    2. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 26 November 2019 04: 26
      Quote: Basarev
      Herbivore Japan with through and through defensive forces

      I'm afraid I have bad news for you, which is already twenty years old. Japan is neither herbivore nor the "self-defense" forces have long been suitable not only for self-defense.
    3. Private-K
      Private-K 26 November 2019 10: 21
      Japan is an island archipelago. There 90% of the population lives no further than 10 km from the coast.
      All interests of Japan, one way or another, pass through the sea.
      In such conditions, the fleet is of primary importance and special attention to it. Everything is logical.
      UDC. like other large recreation centers, it is primarily a large transport ship with the ability to operate in conditions where a civilian vessel cannot.
      1. Greenwood
        Greenwood 26 November 2019 15: 44
        Quote: Private-K
        Japan is an island archipelago. There 90% of the population lives no further than 10 km from the coast.
        All interests of Japan, one way or another, pass through the sea.
        Japan, among other things, is one of the most advanced and richest countries in the world. It would be strange if her fleet did not develop rapidly.
    4. timokhin-aa
      timokhin-aa 26 November 2019 15: 54
      Herbivore Japan with through and through defensive forces

      It's not so long ago to say the least
  6. Avior
    Avior 25 November 2019 20: 41

    UDC Osumi
    The front of the ship, it seems, is quite suitable for the installation of a springboard.
    Technical characteristics of the Osumi class universal landing craft:
    Displacement - 13000 tons;
    Length - 178,0 m;
    Width - 25,8 m;
    Draught - 6,0 m;
    The main power plant is diesel with a total capacity of 27000 liters. with.;
    The number of propellers - 2;
    Speed ​​- 22 knots;
    Aviation - up to 6 landing transport helicopters;
    Artillery - Mk 15 "Vulcan Phalanx" 20 mm - 2X6;
    Crew - 135 man;
    Landing capacity - 330 marines or 1000 soldiers;
    1. Flooding
      Flooding 26 November 2019 00: 55
      Quote: Avior
      Landing capacity - 330 marines or 1000 soldiers

      What is it like? A soldier lay down three in one bunk?
      1. PSih2097
        PSih2097 26 November 2019 02: 46
        Quote: Flood
        What is it like? A soldier lay down three in one bunk?

        330 marines with all the reinforcements (these are BBT crews) on normal nutrition or 1000 infantry in full exposition on a dry solder for 3 days (then cannibalism will begin) ...
      2. donavi49
        donavi49 26 November 2019 09: 24
        330 is the nominal maximum load. That is, with them he will go 5000 miles in a storm and cold, and then land. Plus full loading of convertible areas with military equipment.
        1000 - this is the maximum design, convertible areas are converted into a residential unit, less equipment. In such a load, he can work on the shoulder in 3-5 days.
        1. Flooding
          Flooding 26 November 2019 09: 25
          Thank. Wound on a mustache.
  7. Fmax
    Fmax 25 November 2019 21: 50
    As if there is still a type "Hyuga" in the amount of 2 pieces, which can accommodate 500 troops and up to 28 aircraft.
    1. PSih2097
      PSih2097 26 November 2019 02: 50
      Quote: FMax
      As if there is still a type "Hyuga" in the amount of 2 pieces, which can accommodate 500 troops and up to 28 aircraft.

      they also have "Izumo" in the amount of 2 pieces ...
  8. Gato
    Gato 26 November 2019 00: 15
    Whatever the Japanese build, for some reason they always get aircraft carriers. Not only from destroyers, but also from submarines (see Otsu) request
  9. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 26 November 2019 04: 41
    "LHD will be able to carry a battalion of marines" 330 people which battalion is this? Max. two companies, let alone 20 armored combat vehicles and one company sparsely.
  10. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 26 November 2019 11: 25
    The author did not mention anywhere that the three existing UDCs were redone for vertical lines. That is, turned into aircraft carriers. And the following, I think, will also design for the F-35B
    1. timokhin-aa
      timokhin-aa 26 November 2019 15: 59
      Not redone yet

      And the following, I think, will also design for the F-35B

      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 26 November 2019 16: 09
        "Not redone yet" ///
        You are right, checked. Two will be redone so far. Under the guidance of English specialists from BAE.
        The F-35 has the same landing area as the Harrier. There is no problem with this.
        And the take-off is quite enough.
        The problem is how to place them in hangars under the deck. And fuel supply.
        Italians and Australians are now in the same problems
        1. timokhin-aa
          timokhin-aa 26 November 2019 16: 19
          Throw by the way the link about the alteration of Ozumi
          1. voyaka uh
            voyaka uh 26 November 2019 16: 38
            For example here:
            Japan Wants To Fly F-35s From Its Own Aircraft Carriers, Here Is How It Could Get Them
            1. timokhin-aa
              timokhin-aa 26 November 2019 20: 30
              Well, in general, Izumo will redo it. The first in my opinion Kaga should embark on modernization.
              1. Yuri Beresnev
                Yuri Beresnev 9 December 2019 20: 43
                Yes, money for its modernization in the budget for fiscal year 2020 has already been laid down for its modernization.
      2. Yuri Beresnev
        Yuri Beresnev 9 December 2019 20: 42
        This project, as far as I know, is the fantasy of guys from Chinese forums. Japan has no news about the new aircraft carriers.