Japan’s self defense force, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has commissioned its second and final Maya-class AEGIS Destroyer. JS Haguro, DDG-180, now joins the JMSDF’s Escort Flotilla 4, which is based in Sasebo.

JS Haguro, the second and final vessel of the Maya-class of destroyers, is the eighth Aegis destroyer of the JMSDF. While her keel was laid in January 2018, she was launched on July 17th 2019. Incidentally, the first ship-in-class, DDG-179 JS Maya was commissioned on March 19, 2020.

This new class of destroyers comes with ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities. Each destroyer costs around US$1.5 billion and were built at the JMU’s shipyard at Isogo Ward in Yokohama.

Japan has limited the Maya-class of destroyers to just two ships. The next class of naval vessels, which will feature Aegis are yet to be made public;  the certainty of them being “Aegis equipped ships” are high since Japan had earlier cancelled  Aegis onshore batteries.

Much like her sister-ship, JS Haguro has been named after a mountain – Mount Haguro. The previous vessel bear the name of a famous heavy cruiser Haguro of the Imperial Japanese Navy which was commissioned in 1929.

Haguro had seen significant service during World War II and had participated in nine naval engagements. She was sunk in 1945 during a fight with Royal Navy destroyers. She was one of the last Japanese warships to be sunk in open waters during the Second World War.