Unryu-class aircraft carrier

The Unryu class aircraft carriers were World War II Japanese aircraft carriers. 16 carriers were planned under the Maru Kyu Programme (Ship #302 in 1941) and the Kai-Maru 5 Programme (#5001–5015 in 1942). However, only 3 carriers were completed.


Unryu-class aircraft carrier
Class Ship
Type Aircraft Carrier
Manufacturer Yokosuka Naval Arsenal
Production Period 1942 - 1943
Origin Japan
Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1944
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan 1944 1945 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 1942 1944 2 View
Kure Naval Arsenal 1942 1944 2 View
Yokosuka Naval Arsenal 1942 1943 3 View

In the lead-up to the Pacific War the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attempted to build a large number of fleet carriers. For them to be built quickly, the design for these ships was based on the aircraft carrier Hiryu rather than the newer and more sophisticated Taiho or the Shokaku class.

The Unryu class aircraft carrier design was very similar to that of Hiryu. The ships were lightly built, and the main difference from Hiryu 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 Unryu class carried a smaller quantity of aviation fuel as Hiryu with fuel tanks protected by concrete. The ships were fitted with the same propulsion system used in the aircraft carrier Soryu to reach 34 knots (63 km/h), though Katsuragi was instead fitted with two turbines of the same type used in destroyers and had a maximum speed of 33 knots (61 km/h). The carriers also had a similar armament as Hiryu and were equipped with two Type 21 radars and two Type 13 radars.

Ships in Class

Ship # Ship Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
302 Unryu Yokosuka Naval Arsenal 1 August 1942 25 September 1943 6 August 1944 Sunk by USS Redfish at East China Sea 32°10'N135°58'E on 19 December 1944. Struck on 20 February 1945.
5001 Amagi 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 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 Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyard 14 April 1943 19 October 1944 (June 1945) 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 Kure Naval Arsenal 8 June 1943 1 November 1944 (September 1945) 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.

Name: Unryu-class aircraft carrier
Builders: Yokosuka Naval Arsenal
Kure Naval Arsenal
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Shokaku-class
Succeeded by: Project Number G18 (only a project)
Subclasses: Unryu (Ship #302 and 5001–5006)
Ikoma (Ship #5007–5015)
Cost: 87,039,000 JPY in 1941
93,442,000 JPY in 1942
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: Unryu 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-Go Kampon water-tube boilers
4 × Kampon geared turbines,
4 shafts
Katsuragi and Aso
104,000 SHP
all others
152,000 SHP
Speed: Katsuragi and Aso
32 knots (37 mph; 59 km/h)
all others
34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
Endurance: • Fuel: 3,750 tons oil
• Armaments for aircraft:
Unryu-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: Unryu and Amagi
1,100
Katsuragi, Kasagi and Aso
1,500
Ikoma
1,595
Sensors and
processing systems:
• Radar:
Unryu 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:
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) Type 96 25 mm AA guns
30 depth charges
Unryu and Amagi
168 (6 × 28) 4.7 inch AA rockets
Kasagi
120 (4 × 30) 4.7 inch AA rockets
all others
180 (6 × 30) 4.7 inch AA rockets
Armor: 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:
Unryu-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

End notes