The US & Japan has finished an important bilateral
naval exercise. The participants included Akizuki-class destroyer
JS Fuyuzuki (DD 118), USS Ronald Reagan, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers
USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62). The objective was to enhance operational tactics
and coordination. This kind of exercise is designed to improve
the ability of the two navies to work together and enable them to respond to an aggressor
cohesively. In this video Defense Updates analyzes why
the joint exercise between the US Navy & JMSDF is a major pushback against China? Let’s get into the details. This video is sponsored by War Thunder, the
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bonus tank or aircraft or ship and three days of premium account. China’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over
the South China Sea have annoyed competing claimants Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan,
Indonesia, and the Philippines. United States, Japan, Australia, and India
favor freedom of navigation as it is a very important sea route with 5 trillion $ in trade,
half of the global merchant shipping and 1/2 of world’s oil shipment pass through it. Chinese military expansion has been a concern
for Japan and it has been taking steps to change its own posturing. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution dictates
that Tokyo will “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation … land,
sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained”. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government
has altered the nation’s post World War II security policy over the past few years,
most notably through new security laws that largely expand the range of activities permissible
by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. An important aspect to note is that the U.S
is Japan’s ally and is bound by the treaty of ‘Mutual Cooperation and Security’ to come
to Japan’s aid in case Japan faces aggression from an external party. JS Fuyuzuki is an Akizuki class destroyer. The Akizuki Class is intended to escort the
Hyuga class and Izumo class helicopter destroyers, and safeguard the other Aegis guided warships
such as the Kongō class and Atago-class of the JMSDF. The destroyer provides defense against surface,
airborne and undersea threats. It carries 8 Type 90 Ship launched Anti Ship
Missile It also has one Mk 41 Vertical Launch System
having 32 cells that can accommodate RIM-162 ESSM Surface to Air missile and Type 07 VL-ASROC
Anti-submarine rocket. There is also a long-range naval gun, two
Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) as well as two HOS-303 triple 324 mm torpedo tubes. USS Ronald Reagan is a Nimitz class supercarriers USS Ronald Reagan is the 9th ship of her class
and was commissioned on 12 July 2003. She is named in honor of Ronald W. Reagan,
President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Yokosuka, Japan is the homeport of USS Ronald
Reagan. Ronald Reagan is one of the largest vessels
constructed. It has a displacement of 100,000 tonnes, and
an overall length of 332.8 m or 1,092 feet. To give viewers a perspective, it is about
3 football fields long. USS Ronald Reagan is powered by two A4W nuclear
reactors, kept in separate compartments. These power 4 propeller shafts and can produce
a maximum speed of over 30 knots or 56 km/h. As a result of the use of nuclear power, the
warship is capable of operating continuously for over 20 years without refueling and is
predicted to have a service life of over 50 years. Practically it has unlimited range & endurance. USS Ronald Reagan being Nimitz class possesses
a multitude of different radars including electronically scanned array 3D radars. It has an elaborate defensive armament suite. Ronald Reagan is equipped with 16 to 24 RIM-7
Sea Sparrow or NATO Sea Sparrow missiles. RIM-7 Sea Sparrow is a US ship-borne short-range
anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapon system, primarily intended for defense against anti-ship
missiles. Close-in weapon duties are performed by Phalanx,
& RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile. Phalanx CIWS has a 4500 /min rate of fire. RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles have speed
in excess of 2 Mach. For offense, Ronald Reagan carries a flight
group of more than 60 aircraft, including F-18 jet fighters. These are twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather
carrier-capable 4th generation multirole fighter aircraft. They have a payload of 7700 kg (17000 lbs)
and can carry ground attack weapons as well as air-to-air missiles. Supporting aircraft like EA 18 Growler and
E2 Hawkeye are also available apart from helicopters. USS Ronald Reagan doesn’t operate alone
but is deployed with the “carrier strike group”. The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group includes
the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers and USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville. Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers
are equipped with a diverse array of weapons for Anti Aircraft Warfare (AAW), Anti Submarine
Warfare (ASW), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) as well as have the ability to intercept ballistic
missiles through Aegis Ballistic missile defense system. This class of cruiser has an overall length
of 567 ft or 173 m and displacement of about 9,600 tons. Ticonderoga class warship has a speed of 32+
knots (60+ km/h) and a range of 6000 nm or 11000 km. Ticonderoga class cruiser has two 61 cell
Mk 41 Vertical Launch System that can be equipped with a choice of different weapons. 1. RIM-66M-5 Standard SM-2MR Block IIIB for Air
Defense & Anti Ship role with a range of 103 miles or 167 km and speed of Mach 3.5 2. RIM-156A SM-2ER Block IV for Anti Aircraft
& Anti Ship role with a range of 115 miles or 185 km and speed of Mach 3.5 3. RIM-161 SM-3 for Ballistic missile defense
with a range of 435 miles or 700 km and speed of Mach 10. It can also be used as an Anti-satellite weapon. 4. RIM-162A ESSM for anti-missile role with a
range of 31 miles or 50 km and speed of Mach 4 It can be quad packed in single Mk 41 cell. 5. RIM-174A Standard ERAM or SM 6 for anti-air
warfare with a range of 150 miles or 240 km and speed Mach 3.5 6. BGM-109 Tomahawk for land attack. It has a long range of up to 1550 miles or
2500 km with subsonic speed. 7. RUM-139A VL-ASROC anti-submarine missile with
a range of 13 miles or 22 km It also has 8 Harpoon Missile Launcher for
Anti Ship role. 2 × Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes are present
launching Mk-46 or Mk-50 torpedoes 2 Sikorsky SH-60B helicopters are responsible
for Anti Submarine Warfare. Other weapons consist of long-range naval
gun and variety of Close-In Weapon System. China has spent heavily on military buildup
& is modernising its military forces. The People’s Liberation Army Navy is now
considerably larger than the Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force in both overall tonnage
and number of ships. In recent times, China has been very aggressive
in it’s posturing. Its activities are far off from being a sensible
nation and it has even made threats to Japan. Japan has been increasing conscious of the
fact that its territory which is surrounded by waters is vulnerable. Hence, an increased coordination between the
US & Japan is the need of the hour. As predicated my several strategic experts,
China’s aggressive military posturing may come back to haunt it as its neighbours including
Japan takes steps to strengthen their military doctrine. Keeping all the aspects in consideration,
we may see a strategic shift in Asia where the U.S & Japan work more closely to challenge
against Chinese hegemony.