Japan has launched new Izumo-class helicopter carrier, Kaga, at the Japan Marine United shipyard in Yokohama on Thursday.
The 24,000-ton DDH-184 carrier is considered as second largest ship since world war ll. The ship has been named after the World War II Imperial Japanese Navy carrier ‘Kaga’ that was part of Pearl Harbor attack, sinking in the Battle Midway.
It is due to be commissioned in March 2017, the sputnik reported Thursday.
The ship follows JS Izumo (DDH-183) which entered service in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in March.
According to Japanese ministry, the two ships will be used for humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, whereas some regional neighbours as well as rivals argue that due to the ship’s size and deck configuration, it could serve as an aircraft carrier but the carriers are considered offensive weapons and banned under Japan's constitution.
Kaga can hold seven anti-submarine patrol helicopters that can detect sophisticated Chinese submarines as Japan, along with other countries in the region, is engaged in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.
The ships will field seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60k ASW helicopters and seven AgustaWestland MCM-101 mine countermeasure helicopters, according to the US Naval Institute's Combat Fleets of the World.