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Japanese aircraft carrier Aso

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Title: Japanese aircraft carrier Aso  
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Japanese aircraft carrier Aso


Unryū on 16 July 1944
Class overview
Name: Unryū-class aircraft carrier
Builders: Yokosuka Naval Arsenal
Kure Naval Arsenal
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Shōkaku-class
Succeeded by: Project Number G18 (only a project)
Subclasses: Unryū (Ship #302 and 5001–5006)
Ikoma (Ship #5007–5015)
Cost: 87,039,000 JPY in 1941[1]
93,442,000 JPY in 1942[2]
Built: 1942–1945
In commission: 1944–1945
Planned: 1 (1941) + 15 (1942)
Completed: 3
Cancelled: 13
Lost: 2 + 1 (Aso)
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Type: Aircraft carrier
Displacement: Unryū and Amagi
17,480 long tons (17,760 t) standard
all others
17,150 long tons (17,425 t) standard
Length: 745 ft 11 in (227.36 m) o/a
Beam: 72 ft 2 in (22.00 m)
Draught: 25 ft 9 in (7.85 m)
Propulsion:

8 × Ro-Gō Kampon water-tube boilers
4 × Kampon geared turbines,
4 shafts

Katsuragi and Aso[3][4]
104,000 SHP
all others[3][4]
152,000 SHP
Speed: Katsuragi and Aso[3][4]
32 knots (37 mph; 59 km/h)
all others[3][4]
34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)[3]
Endurance: • Fuel: 3,750 tons oil[3][4]
• Armaments for aircraft:[5]
Unryū-class
72 × 800 kg bombs
288 × 250 kg bombs
456 × 60 kg bombs
36 × Type 91 torpedoes
Ikoma-class
72 × 800 kg bombs
144 × 250 kg bombs
252 × 60 kg bombs
36 × Type 91 torpedoes
Complement: Unryū and Amagi[3][4]
1,100
Katsuragi, Kasagi and Aso[3][4]
1,500
Ikoma[3][4]
1,595
Sensors and
processing systems:
• Radar:[6]
Unryū and Amagi as built
2 × Type 21 radars (top of island and flight deck)
1 × Type 13 radar (mast)
Katsuragi as built
2 × Type 21 radars (top of island and flight deck)
2 × Type 13 radars (mast and radio antenna)
Amagi and Katsuragi in 1945
1 × Type 21 radar (flight deck)
1 × Type 22 radar (top of island)
1 × Type 13 radar (mast)
• Sonar and hydrophone:[7][8]
Amagi
Type 93 hydrophone
Type 3 active sonar
all others
Type 0 hydrophone
Type 3 active sonar
Armament: 12 (6 × 2) 127 mm Type 89 AA guns
93 (21 × 3 and 30 × 1)[8] Type 96 25 mm AA guns
30 depth charges[8]
Unryū and Amagi
168 (6 × 28[9]) 4.7 inch AA rockets
Kasagi
120 (4[8] × 30[9]) 4.7 inch AA rockets
all others
180 (6 × 30[9]) 4.7 inch AA rockets
Armor: [3]
Deck: 25 mm (0.98 in)
Belt:
Katsuragi and Aso
50 mm (2.0 in)
all others
46 mm (1.8 in)
Aircraft carried: • Plan in 1942:[3][4][10]
Unryū-class
12 + 3 Mitsubishi A6M
27 + 3 Aichi D3A
18 + 2 Nakajima B5N
Ikoma-class
18 + 1 Mitsubishi A6M
27 Aichi D3A
27 Nakajima B5N
• Plan in 1944:
18 + 2 Mitsubishi A7M
27 Aichi B7A
6 Nakajima C6N
Aviation facilities: flight deck
bilayer hangar
two elevators
3 × Type 3 crash barrier
4 × 3 wires Type 3 arresting gear

The Unryū class aircraft carriers (雲龍型航空母艦 Unryū-gata Kōkūbokan?) were World War II Japanese aircraft carriers. 16 carriers were planned under the Maru Kyū Programme (Ship #302 in 1941) and the Kai-Maru 5 Programme (#5001–5015 in 1942). However, only 3 carriers were completed.

Design

In the lead-up to the Pacific War the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attempted to build a large number of fleet carriers. So that they could be built quickly, the design for these ships was based on that of the aircraft carrier Hiryū rather than the newer and more sophisticated Taihō or the Shōkaku class.[11]

The Unryū class aircraft carrier design was very similar to that of Hiryū. The ships were lightly built, and the main difference from Hiryū was that the carriers' island was placed on the starboard side of the ships. The carriers were capable of carrying 63 aircraft in two hangars, and were fitted with two elevators. The Unryū class carried a smaller quantity of aviation fuel than Hiryū and the fuel tanks were protected by concrete. The ships were to be fitted with the same propulsion system as had been used in the aircraft carrier Sōryū and were capable of reaching 34 knots (63 km/h), though Katsuragi was instead fitted with two turbines of the same type as were used in destroyers and had a maximum speed of 33 knots (61 km/h).[11] The carriers also had a similar armament to that fitted on Hiryū[11] and were equipped with two Type 21 radars and two Type 13 radars.[12]

Construction

The first three Unryū class aircraft carriers were laid down in 1942 and construction of a further three began the next year. In the event, only three (Unryū, Amagi, and Katsuragi) were completed and construction of the other three carriers (Kasagi, Aso and Ikoma) was abandoned in 1945.[11]

Ships in classes

Unryū class

Project number was G16. General production model of the Unryū-class. 3 carriers were completed. The IJN unofficial designation for Unryū and Amagi were Modified Hiryū-class (改飛龍型 Kai Hiryū-gata?),[13] Ship Number 5002–5006 were Modified Unryū-class (改雲龍型 Kai Unryū-gata?)[14] also.

Ship # Ship Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
302 Unryū (雲龍?) Yokosuka Naval Arsenal 1 August 1942 25 September 1943 6 August 1944 Sunk by USS Redfish at East China Sea 32°10′N 135°58′E / 32.167°N 135.967°E / 32.167; 135.967 on 19 December 1944. Struck on 20 February 1945.

5001 Amagi (天城?) Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard 1 October 1942 15 October 1943 10 August 1944 Sunk by air raid at Kure on 28 July 1945. Struck on 30 November 1945. Salvaged and scrapped between 5 December 1946–12 November 1947.
5002 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal Cancelled in 1943. Naval budget and the materials were used for Shinano.
5003 Katsuragi (葛城?) Kure Naval Arsenal 8 December 1942 19 January 1944 15 October 1944 Survived war. Decommissioned on 5 October 1945. Scrapped between 22 December 1946–30 November 1947.
5004 Kasagi (笠置?) Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard 14 April 1943 19 October 1944 (June 1945)[16] 84% complete. Construction stopped on 1 April 1945. Scrapped between 1 September 1946–31 December 1947.
5005 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal Cancelled in 1943. Naval budget and the materials were used for Shinano.
5006 Aso (阿蘇?) Kure Naval Arsenal 8 June 1943 1 November 1944 (September 1945)[16] 60% complete. Construction stopped on 9 November 1944. Sunk as target off Kurahashi-Jima in July 1945. Salvaged and scrapped between 21 December 1946–26 April 1947.

Ikoma class

Simplified and sped-up construction model of the Unryū-class. They fitted shift-arrangement machinery (four sets of parallel two boilers and one turbine).[5][17] Therefore, as for their chimneys, those space intended to spread out.[17] The IJN unofficial designation for this class was Modified Ship Number 302-class (改第302号艦型 Kai Dai 302-Gōkan-gata?).[10][16]

Ship # Ship Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
5007 Ikoma (生駒?) Kawasaki-Kobe Shipyard 5 July 1943 17 November 1944 (October 1945)[16] 60% complete. Construction stopped on 9 November 1944. Scrapped between 4 July 1946–10 March 1947.
5008 Kurama (鞍馬?)[18] or
Kaimon (開聞?)[19]
Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard[16] (November 1943)[16] (December 1945)[16] Cancelled on 5 May 1944.[20]
5009 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[16] (July 1943)[16] (March 1946)[16] Cancelled on 11 August 1943.[21]
5010 Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard[16] (April 1944)[16] (June 1946)[16]
5011 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[16] (June 1944)[16] (September 1946)[16]
5012 Kure Naval Arsenal[16] (June 1944)[16] (September 1946)[16]
5013 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[16] (June 1944)[16] (March 1947)[16]
5014 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[16] (October 1944)[16] (September 1947)[16]
5015 Yokosuka Naval Arsenal[16] (January 1945)[16] (March 1948)[16]

Photos

Footnotes

References

  • Shizuo Fukui, "Stories of Japanese aircraft carriers", Kōjinsha (Japan) August 1996, ISBN 4-7698-0655-8
  • History of Pacific War Extra, "Perfect guide, The aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy & Army", Gakken (Japan), April 2003, ISBN 4-05-603055-3
  • Daiji Katagiri, Ship Name Chronicles of the Imperial Japanese Navy Combined Fleet, Kōjinsha (Japan), June 1988, ISBN 4-7698-0386-9
  • , National Archives of Japan, "List of main points and features of surface vessels under construction", Reference code: A03032074600
  • Monthly Ships of the World, (Japan)
    • No. 481, Special issue, "History of Japanese Aircraft Carriers", May 1994
    • No. 736, Special issue, "History of Japanese Aircraft Carriers" (New edition), January 2011
  • The Maru Special, Ushio Shobo (Japan)
    • Warship Mechanism Vol. 3, "Mechanisms of Japanese 29 Aircraft Carriers", August 1981
    • Japanese Naval Vessels No. 23, "Japanese aircraft carriers I", January 1979
  • Senshi Sōsho, Asagumo Simbun (Japan)
    • Vol. 31, Naval armaments and war preparation (1), "Until November 1941", November 1969
    • Vol. 88, Naval armaments and war preparation (2), "And after the outbreak of war", October 1975

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