Japanese destroyer JS Kirisame visits Solomon Islands amid tensions with China

According to information published by the JMSDF on August 9, 2022, the Murasame class destroyer JS Kirisame made a port visit to the Solomon Islands.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Japan Maritime Self Defense Force's Murasame class destroyer Kirisame (Picture source: Republic of Fiji Navy)

In late March 2022, the Solomon Islands Government confirmed that it was drafting a security pact with China that would allow the deployment of Chinese military and security forces in the country, naval deployments, and the establishment of a military base.

This acknowledgment came after a draft of the security agreement was leaked online. In response, the Australian and New Zealand Governments expressed concerns that the establishment of a Chinese military presence in the Solomon Islands would have serious implications for peace and security in the Pacific region.

In response, the Chinese Government defended law enforcement and bilateral cooperation with the Solomon Islands and disputed Australian criticism that Beijing was coercing the Solomon Islands.

About the destroyer JS Kirisame

JS Kirisame (DD-104) is the fourth ship of Murasame-class destroyers of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. She was commissioned on 18 March 1999.

The ship has a length of 151 m (495 ft 5 in), a beam of 17.4 m (57 ft 1 in), and a draft of 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in). She can reach a top speed of 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h).

The hull design was completely renovated from first-generation DDs. In addition to increasing the size in order to reduce the underwater radiation noise, both superstructure and hull was inclined to reduce the radar cross-section.

There is however no angled tripod mainmast like the one of the American Arleigh Burke-class destroyer because of the heavy weather of the Sea of Japan in winter.

The aft was designed like a "mini-Oranda-zaka" as with the Kongō class to avoid interference between helicopters and mooring devices. Destroyers built under the First Defense Build-up Plan, including the former Murasame class, adopted a unique long forecastle style called "Oranda-zaka".

The engine arrangement is COGAG as same as Asagiri class, but a pair of engines are updated to Spey SM1C. And the remaining pair is replaced with LM2500s, as for the Kongō class.