Haruna class helicopter destroyer, JDS Haruna (DDH-141) & JDS Hiei (DDH-142) - Taking to the skies once more

Would you like to see the Haruna class helicopter destroyer added at some point?
  • Yes
  • Maybe
  • Unsure
  • No

0 voters

What refit should the class be added in?
  • 1975 Configuration (As built)
  • 1980’s Refit (Modernized)
  • Unsure
  • I said no to the first question

0 voters

Haruna class helicopter destroyer, JDS Haruna (DDH-141) & JDS Hiei (DDH-142) - Taking to the skies once more


Background & History

The Haruna class “destroyer” was a class of 2 helicopter destroyers and as such these ships carried multiple helicopters which were built in the early 1970’s, these ships would be the first warship the JMSDF would build that was built around the idea that they would put a warship capable of carrying multiple aircraft or in this case helicopters though these ships were technically never meant to be, originally the JMSDF sought to get a dedicated helicopter aircraft carrier which officially doesn’t count as violation the Japanese constitution however this idea was shot down which then forced the JMSDF to instead do this through the process of destroyers and as such the Japanese helicopter destroyer was born.


The lead ship Haruna was laid down on March 19th, 1970, she was launched on February 1st, 1972, and entered service on February 22nd, 1973, as for Hiei, she was laid down on March 8th, 1972, she was launched on August 13th, 1973, and enter service on November 27th, 1974, and within a decade their natural successors, the Shirane class would enter service before the Japanese line of helicopter destroyer took the real loophole around the Japanese constitution with the Hyūga class actually being the ships built to replace the Haruna class.


The ships themselves were armed with 2 5"/54-caliber guns in 2 single turrets located at the front of the ship in a super firing pair, the were also armed with 1 8-cell ASROC launcher as the ship was mainly built around for anti submarine warfare and to top it of the ship came with 2 triple Mark 32 torpedo tube launchers however in the 1980’s the ship would receive sea sparrows and 20mm CWIS.


(translated from Japanese source so if anything is mistranslated I apologies)




JDS Haruna was laid down on March 19th, 1970 with the previous ship the bare her name being the kongo class fast battleship Haruna from WW2, she was launched on February 1st, 1972, and entered service on February 22nd, 1973 where she joined the 1st escort group being based in Yokosuka, and in 1974 during the Yuyomaru incident where she helped with reified efforts and in November the 51st escort corps was newly formed under the 1st escort corps group and she was joined alongside her now completed sister Hiei, in July, 1975 she took part along with other vessels including with ships from the US navy in a anti submarine warfare exercise and 3 year later would take part an exercise off Hawaii alongside 2 destroyers as well as 8 P-2J’s. In 1981 the 2nd Escort Group is subordinated to the 52nd Escort corps and are joined by the JDS Kurama which is the 2nd ship of the Shirane class, and with the changes made Haruna’s homeport was shifted to Sasebo, the following year from November till December would see her take part in another anti submarine warfare exercise off Hawaii.


On March 30th, 1983 the 52nd Escort Corps was abolished and as a result Haruna returned to the 2nd Escort Group, and 1 year later after the 52nd escort was abolished Haruna would find herself transferred to the 3rd Escort Group as flagship and in 1986 she began an extensive modernization work begin which would improve her ASW capability as well as significantly improve her AA defense with the installation of CWIS and Sea Sparrows, the work would be completed on October 31st, 1987.


In June, 1989 Haruna took part in a joint US exercise during READIEX89-4A during which she was joined by the destroyers Shimakaze and Mineyuki before in 1990 she would take part in RIMPAC. In 1995 she would take part along with the destroyer Sawakaze and three P-3C aircraft in a US dispatch training exercise and would repeat this in 1997 alongside Hamagiri and Myoko. The following year would see her transferred to Maizuru and would also be present for International Fleet Review Ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Korea. In March of 1999 Haruna would actually open fire on a vessel after a suspicious vessel was spotted off the Noto Peninsula which saw Haruna open fire on the unknown vessel which turned out to be North Korean however the ship was driven off.


In 2002 Haruna was deployed to the Indian Ocean alongside Sawakaze as apart of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law which saw her return in August, she would do this again in 2003 though this time being joined by Asagiri and the supply ship Towada, she would return to Japan on November 19th. She would next take part in RIMPAC in 2004 and in 2007 she actually made a goodwill visit to Vladivostok, and in late March, 2008 she was transferred over to the 3rd Escort group being assigned to the 3rd Escort Corps and would once again then take part in RIMPAC. On March 18th, 2009 she was stricken from the naval register and decommissioned.





Hiei was laid down on March 8th, 1972 with the previous bearing her name being the Kongo class fast battleship Hiei, she was launched on August 13th, 1973, and enter service on November 27th, 1974 and upon entering service she was assigned to 1st Escort Group alongside her sister Haruna and would be based out of Yokosuka. In 1978 Hiei would take part in an anti submarine warfare exercise along with her sister, a friendly submarine, and 8 P-2J’s and in 1980 shelling with the destroyer Amatsukaze along with 8 P-2J’s were sent for RIMPAC.


On March 30th, 1983 the 51st Escort Corps was abolished and as a result Hiei was transferred to the 1st Escort Group where she became flagship thought about a year later she would transfer to the 4th Escort group however she still served as flagship, and in 1987 she underwent her major modernization which was completed in March, 1989. In 1995 the 4th escort group itself moved homeport to Kure so as a result she was based out of Kure, and in 1996 she took part once more in a RIMPAC, and in 1999 she took part in a US dispatch training with Myoko and Amagiri. In 2000 she would take part in joint exercise along with the Russian navy in a joint naval rescue exercise and in 2001 she took part in another US dispatch training alongside Chokai and Samidare. In 2002 and 2003 and up until 2004 she would take part in deployments to the Indian Ocean as apart of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law before visiting Russian in Vladivostok again for another joint naval rescue exercise and in 2006 she took part in another RIMPAC exercise.


In 2008 the 4th Escort Group was reorganized which saw her moved to the 4th Escort Corps and in 2010 she took part in another joint exercise with Russia during SAREX. Hiei was finally decommissioned on March 16th, 2011, she was by that point the longest serving vessel of the JMSDF with 36 years of service and in terms of the distance she traveled counts for 44 laps around the globe.



Hide contents


4,950 long tons (5,029 t) standard

6,900 long tons (7,011 t) full load

Length: 153.1 m (502 ft)

Beam: 17.5 m (57 ft 5 in)

Draft: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)


2 boilers 850 psi (60 kg/cm², 5.9 MPa), 430 °C

2 turbines

2 shafts

60,000 hp (45,000 kW)

Speed: 31 knots (36 mph; 57 km/h)



360 (DDH-141)


Primary Guns:

2 x 5-inch/54-caliber Mark-42 Mod 7 (127mm) gun turrets

Anti Air missile launchers:

1 x Mark-29 8 cell launcher for RIM-7 Sea Sparrow SAM (added in the late 1980)

Anti Air guns:

2 x Mk-15 Phalanx Close-in-Weapon System (CIWS) (added in the late 1980’s)

ASW missile launchers:

1 x Type-74 (Mk-16) octuple ASROC launcher for RUR-5 anti-submarine rockets

Torpedo Launchers:

2 x HOS-301 (Mk-32) 12,75 inch (324mm) triple torpedo tubes

Aircraft carried: 3 × SH-60J(K) anti-submarine helicopters (Used SSH-2 originally)






Haruna-class destroyer - Wikipedia

JS Haruna - Wikipedia

JS Hiei - Wikipedia

JS Haruna (DDH-141)


Haruna class Helicopter Destroyer DDH Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

JDS Haruna DDH 141 class Helicopter Destroyer JMSDF

JDS Hiei DDH-142 Haruna class Helicopter Destroyer JMSDF

Image Sources


JDS Hiei DDH-142 Haruna class Helicopter Destroyer JMSDF

Reddit - Dive into anything

Account Suspended

第二北大路機関 ヘリコプター護衛艦はるな 本日日本帰港

JDS Haruna DDH 141 class Helicopter Destroyer JMSDF

JDS Hiei DDH-142 Haruna class Helicopter Destroyer JMSDF

We could definitely see both versions be added with and without sea sparrow.

The fact that these only had sea sparrow means that we could see these very soon either before or a bit after Amatsukaze +1

I voted for the 1975 configuration, as I believe it is most likely to be added. The 1980s refit is undoubtedly better armed, but the CIWS and AShM launchers are a bit advanced for the current meta. Regardless, +1!

1 Like

Would love to eventually see helicopters as ship launched aircraft as there are some very interesting candidates from various navies, especially ones capable of carrying missiles. Such a feature would give this class a definite boost, but I assume the ones carried by the Haruna-class primarily used depth charges and torpedoes? Could be very relevant if submarines are added at least