Monday, 1 August 2016

JDS Kashima

Despite the fact that the River Thames no longer carries anywhere near as much traffic as it used to, every so often something larger or more unusual than the occasional cargo ship or cruise ship can be seen passing Woolwich Reach ... and yesterday was one such day.


JDS Kashima (TV-3508) is one of a number of training ships operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). What makes her unusual is the fact that she was specifically designed for the task, and not converted from an older, front-line ship that was becoming obsolete. She was laid down on 20th April 1993, launched on 23rd February 1994, and commissioned on 26th January 1995, and is the only ship in her class. Her design resembles that of a frigate or destroyer, but although she is armed, her main role is that of a training ship and what armament she does carry is intended to be used for instructional purposes.







Kashima's characteristics are as follows:
  • Displacement: 4,050 tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 469 ft
    • Beam: 59 ft
    • Draft: 15 ft
  • Propulsion: CODOG (COmbined Diesel Or Gas turbine) with 2 × Mitsubishi S16U-MTK diesels and 2 × Rolls-Royce Spey SM1C gas turbines (each producing 26,150 shp) powering 2 controllable-pitch propellers
  • Speed: 25 knots
  • Complement: 370
  • Armament: 1 × OTO-Breda 76 mm gun (1 x 1); 2 × triple 21-inch torpedo tubes (2 x 3); 4 × saluting cannon (4 x 1)
  • Aircraft: None, but she is equipped with a helicopter landing zone at the stern
Kashima's homeport is Kure and she is currently the flagship of the JMSDF Training Fleet.

JDS Kashima's main armament, a single OTO-Breda 76 mm gun.
Although not equipped to permanently carry an helicopter, JDS Kashima is equipped with a helicopter landing zone at the stern of the ship.

Whilst we were awaiting the arrival of JDS Kashima, Sue and I saw several interesting vessels on the Thames. These included the Earl of Pembroke (a wooden, three masted barque that was built in Sweden in 1945 and that is currently used for maritime festivals, charters, charity fund raising, corporate entertaining and film work), ...




... one of the Thames Clipper catamarans that run a regular service along the River Thames, ...


... and two tugs, the Zip Bear, ...


...and the SD Seal.

8 comments:

  1. Superb Maritime photos Bob- you are quite professional at it - well done! Regards. KEV.
    p.s., Yes - we were on the Thames in early May 2015- on a Restaurant-Bar Boat tied up permanently near the Bridges...a great spot for watching the World go by.

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    1. Kev,

      Thanks for your kind words about my photographs. I am lucky in that I own an excellent Fuji bridge camera that has a 40x optical zoom. I just zoom in and frame what I want to photograph, press the autofocus ... et voila!

      I think I know the floating bar/restaurant you were on. It is moored on the north bank of the river, and about half a mile from where I was born.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. That is very interesting- being a mile from where you were born Bob..while in London I had to be admitted to Saint Thomas Hospital -after which I spent some days on the floating vessel bar/restaurant recovering- it wasn't until we arrived later at Budapest (Hungary) that I began to feel warm and well again. We should have visited the UK later than early May - it would have been a lot warmer and less wet. Scotland in early May was freezing! Regards. KEV.

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    3. Kev,

      I was born just across the road from St Thomas's Hospital in the General Lying-in Hospital. (The building is now part of a hotel complex. After I was born I spent the next five years in and out of St Thomas's having treatment for mild scoliosis and internal tibial torsion.)

      I can think of worse places to recover from a spell in hospital than a floating bar/restaurant, even in May ... which, by the way, can also be quite hot sometimes; you were just very unlucky to have come during one of our colder periods.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob
    Good to see some more Woolwich photos. I used to work for RR-IMGT [Rolls Royce Industrial & Marine Gas Turbines] and know the SM1C well. Did you notice the Rising Sun Flag is still used by the Navy? We used to fly that at RR Ansty when we had visiting Admirals etc - it looked most strange flying there and did upset a few of the older men back in the late 70's when I started.
    Paul

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    Replies
    1. Paul Leeson (Paul),

      Although I live very close to Woolwich (and worked in the centre of the town for the best part of ten years) I don't go there that often. The old Woolwich Arsenal site is being developed for housing etc. and is changing so rapidly that I hardly recognise bits that I used to know quite well.

      I find it interesting that the Japanese still refer to their armed forces as self-defence forces yet fly the same flags as they did during the old Imperial days. I suspect that has a lot to do with the way that MacArthur administered Japan after the Second World War. He kept the Emperor (hence the continued use of the old Imperial emblems) but imposed a democratic system of government and a non-militaristic, non-agressive constitution on the country. The latter is now in need of some form of amendment, especially in view of the recent acquisition of the four 'helicopter carrying destroyers' (i.e. aircraft carriers) by the JMSDF!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. This afternoon Kashima was alongside HMS Belfast.

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    1. Nigel Drury,

      It appears that JDS Kashima will be there until tomorrow afternoon. According to the Japanese Embassy website, she was open to visitor this morning and this afternoon.

      All the best,

      Bob

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