This is it The Atago Class Destroyers From Japan | The Atago Class are large Japan’s destroyers equipped with the Aegis Combat System and strong anti-air warfare capability. This class is a modified version of the Kongo class (a Japanese version of the US Arleigh Burke-class). In terms of size and displacement, the Atago class ships are nearly as large as Ticonderoga class cruisers. Some improvements were made to reduce the radar cross-section of these ships. Two Atago class ships were ordered in 2000. These vessels were commissioned with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force or (JMSDF) during 2007-2008 and replaced the previous Tachikaze class anti-air warfare destroyers. New warships provide an air defense capability several orders of magnitude greater than that offered by the Tachikaze class. The class features large accommodation and the ships are capable of flexible operation. One of the most obvious changes is an additional hangar to carry one SH-60K helicopter. In comparison to the Kongō class or Arleigh Burke-class (Flight I) which only had helicopter platforms (but no support equipment), these ships have better helicopter handling facilities. To enhance the Atago class’ function as command centers, the bridge is two decks higher than aboard an Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA, making their full load displacement over 10,000 tons the first time for a JMSDF surface combat vessel. While the gun caliber has extended from the 54 caliber of the Kongō class to the 62 caliber with strengthened powder charge enabling a 38 km firing range. As with other Japanese ships being refit, the American-made Harpoon missiles (such as in the initial configuration of the Kongō class) have been replaced with the Japanese-made Type 90 (SSM-1B) surface-to-surface guided missiles.In addition, the Atago class warships carry Aegis world-class air defense system. It integrates a mix of Japanese and American made systems, including weapons, radar and fire control into one highly efficient system, capable of controlling a fleet battle above and below the surface. Furthermore, the Aegis system used on Atago class ships is more capable than that, used on the previous Kongo class. The fire-control system for the Atago class is the Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7 phase 1, which will combine American and Japanese manufactured systems to make up the complete Aegis system. The Aegis Weapon System baseline 7 has improved tracking accuracy for vertical targets, and an acquisition capability for small low-altitude targets compared with the Aegis Weapon System baseline 4 and 5, used in Kongō class. The Atago class also uses a new stealthier plain-structure mast, which was originally designed in Japan, rather than a familiar lattice-type mast. A new modified smokestack and other improvements were also introduced to make the Atago stealthier.