Development & Context
DG 163 was the first Japanese missile destroyer. Due to its limited size, no Terrier or Talos systems were implemented, but rather the light Tartar, and later Standard missile system (which derived from the Tartar). This was also later completed by a RUR-5 ASROC system with Mk.112 octuple launcher (post 1967) which proved in the future far more versatile. This combination was quite unique, and the size of the ship was adapted to it by almost double the displacement of the 1950s destroyers generation. So emphasis was still put on AAW/ASW capabilities, and from there, the JMSDF would alternate between AAW destroyers, ASW escorts (smaller) and large ASW destroyers (helicopter DDs). Proper ASuW capabilities (anti-ship) arrived from the Hatsusuki class (1980) first with harpoon missiles.
DDG 163 Amatsukaze was built at Mitsubishi shipyards in Nagazaki. She was laid down on 29.11.1962, launched 5.10.1963 and completed on 15.02.1965, and modernized just two years afterwards. After a career without notable incident, she was discarded in 1995 and latter scrapped. Her anchor and propeller had been preserved.
⚠ Note: This post is in writing. Completion expected in late 2023.
Amatsukaze was planned as the DDG variant of the Akizuki class, basically a traditional gun-armed anti-aircraft destroyer. She had both at first the missile control system of the Tartar system. but since the latter proved to be larger than expected, her design was completely modified notably with an extended hull, and shelter cover design based on the Isuzu class. She also had improved steam turbines and the RIM-24B Improved Tartar was replaced by the SM-1.
This meant for this class, the classic 127 mm (5 in) artillery was omitted for good and traditional 21-in TTs, two Mk.2 over-the-side launchers later replaced by lateral, smaller triple banks Mk32 firing acoustic ASW torpedoes. The electronic suite was also quite extensive and brand new, supported by lattice masts. The bridge superstructure was also larger and squarish and the hull flush deck (no more forecastle). The two twin 3-in mounts were forward, “B” superfiring, the two TT banks either sides of it, the ASROC in between the two superstructures islands, and the Standard SM-1 occupying all the rear section, including the two guiding missile control systems allowing to track and follow two missiles to their targets. Many publications thought because of her clean appearance and roomy after section she was capable of housing an helicopter but she only had an helipad. Both the Mk32 and SPS-52 were additions resulting from her 1967 modernization.
Hull and general arrangements
The electronics suite was also modified heavily, following the armament and a spiral type improvement over the years. Initially, there was a 3D radar AN/SPS-39, later replaced by the AN/SPS-52,
a GFCS Mk.63 mod.14, later replaced by an FCS-2-21D, a Sonar (passive search) AN/SQS-4 later replaced by the AN/SPS-52 and active sonar AN/SQR-8 later replaced by the AN/SQS-23. Its EW suite comprised the NOLR-1B (intercept) radar, replaced in the 1980s by a combination of NOLR-6B radar (intercept), OLR-9B missile warning system and OLT-3 jammer. Because of this, the ship stayed relevant until the mid-1990s.
Amatsukaze, 2 views (src navypedia)
Displacement: 3050 tonnes standard, 4000 tonnes FL
Dimensions: 131 x 13.4 x 4.2 m
Machinery: 2 shafts Ishikawajima/GE geared turbines, 2 Ishikawajima/Foster-Wheeler boilers, 60,000 bhp. 33 knots, range 7000 nm
Sensors: Radars OPS-17, SPS-29, SPS-52, SPG-51, SPG-34, Sonar SQS-34, SQS-23
Armament: Mk13 launcher standard SAM (10 MR-1), 4x 3in/50 AA (2×2), 1×8 ASROC, 2 hedgehogs, 2 y-guns, 2×3 324mm Mk32 ASW TTs
Amatukaze in service