Debut: November 2017



.: Isaac Kong's I.J.N. Ryujo Carrier


# 43180



Modelling Time:

2 weeks

PE/Resin Detail:

PE Railings


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Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other ships with the same name, see Ryūjō.
Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō.jpg
Oblique view of Ryūjō at speed, September 1934
Class overview
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Kaga
Succeeded by: Sōryū
Built: 1929–31
In commission: 1931–42
Completed: 1
Lost: 1
Empire of Japan
Name: Ryūjō
Namesake: Japanese龍驤 "Prancing Dragon"
Builder: MitsubishiYokohama
Laid down: 26 November 1929
Launched: 2 April 1931
Commissioned: 9 May 1933
Struck: 10 November 1942
Fate: Sunk during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, 24 August 1942
General characteristics (as built)
Type: Light aircraft carrier
  • 8,000 t (7,900 long tons) (standard)
  • 10,150 t (9,990 long tons) (normal)
Length: 179.9 meters (590 ft 3 in) (o/a)
Beam: 20.32 meters (66 ft 8 in)
Draught: 5.56 meters (18 ft 3 in)
Installed power:
Speed: 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range: 10,000 nmi (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Complement: 600 (934 after modernization)
Aircraft carried: 48
Aviation facilities: 6 × Arrestor wires
General characteristics (1936)
  • 10,600 t (10,400 long tons) (standard)
  • 12,732 t (12,531 long tons) (normal)
Beam: 20.78 meters (68 ft 2 in)
Draught: 7.08 meters (23 ft 3 in)
Complement: 924

Ryūjō (Japanese龍驤 "Prancing Dragon") was a light aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the early 1930s. Small and lightly built in an attempt to exploit a loophole in the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, she proved to be top-heavy and only marginally stable and was back in the shipyard for modifications to address those issues within a year of completion. With her stability improved, Ryūjō returned to service and was employed in operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During World War II, she provided air support for operations in the PhilippinesMalaya, and the Dutch East Indies, where her aircraft participated in the Second Battle of the Java Sea. During the Indian Ocean raid in April 1942, the carrier attacked British merchant shipping with both her guns and her aircraft. Ryūjō next participated in the Battle of the Aleutian Islands in June. She was sunk by American carrier aircraft at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942.


Ryūjō was planned as a light carrier of around 8,000 metric tons (7,900 long tons) standard displacement [1] to exploit a loophole in the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 that carriers under 10,000 long tons (10,000 t) standard displacement were not regarded as "aircraft carriers".[2] While Ryūjō was under construction, Article Three of the London Naval Treaty of 1930 closed the above-mentioned loophole; consequently, Ryūjō was the only light aircraft carrier of her type to be completed by Japan.[3]

Ryūjō had a length of 179.9 meters (590 ft 3 in) overall.[1] with a beam of 20.32 meters (66 ft 8 in) and a draft of 5.56 meters (18 ft 3 in). She displaced 8,000 metric tons (7,900 long tons) at standard load and 10,150 metric tons (9,990 long tons) at normal load. Her crew consisted of 600 officers and enlisted men.[4]

Bow view of Ryūjō, June 1933

To keep Ryūjō's weight to 8,000 metric tons, the hull was lightly built and no armor could be provided, although some protective plating was added abreast the machinery spaces and magazines. She was also designed with only a single hangar, which would have left an extremely low profile (there being just 4.6 meters (15 ft 1 in) of freeboard amidshipsand 3.0 meters (9 ft 10 in) aft). Between the time the carrier was laid down in 1929 and launched in 1931, however, the Navy doubled her aircraft stowage requirement to 48 in order to give her a more capable air group. This necessitated the addition of a second hangar atop the first, raising freeboard to 14.9 meters (48 ft 11 in). Coupled with the ship's narrow beam, the consequent top-heaviness made her minimally stable in rough seas, despite the fitting of Sperry active stabilizers. This was a common flaw amongst many treaty-circumventing Japanese warships of her generation.[5]

The Tomozuru Incident of 12 March 1934, in which a top-heavy torpedo boat capsized in heavy weather, caused the IJN to investigate the stability of all their ships, resulting in a number of design changes to improve stability and increase hull strength. Ryūjō, already known to be only marginally stable, was promptly docked at the Kure Naval Arsenal for modifications that strengthened her keel and added ballast and shallow torpedo bulges to improve her stability. Her funnels were moved higher up the side of her hull and curved downward to keep the deck clear of smoke.[6]

Shortly afterward, Ryūjō was one of many Japanese warships caught in a typhoon on 25 September 1935 while on maneuvers during the "Fourth Fleet Incident." The ship's bridgeflight deck and superstructure were damaged and the hangar was flooded. The forecastle was raised one deck and the bow was remodelled with more flare to improve the sea handling.[6] After these modifications, the beam and draft increased to 20.78 meters (68 ft 2 in) and 7.08 meters (23 ft 3 in) respectively. The displacement also increased to 10,600 metric tons (10,400 long tons) at standard load and 12,732 metric tons (12,531 long tons) at normal load. The crew also grew to 924 officers and enlisted men.[4]


The ship was fitted with two geared steam turbine sets with a total of 65,000 shaft horsepower (48,000 kW), each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by six Kampon water-tube boilersRyūjō had a designed speed of 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph), but reached 29.5 knots (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph) during her sea trials from 65,270 shp (48,670 kW). The ship carried 2,490 long tons (2,530 t) of fuel oil, which gave her a range of 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). The boiler uptakes were trunked to the ship's starboard side amidships and exhausted horizontally below flight deck level through two small funnels.[7]

Flight deck and hangars

Ryūjō was a flush-decked carrier without an island superstructure; the navigating and control bridge was located just under the forward lip of the flight deck in a long glassed-in "greenhouse", whilst the superstructure was set back 23.5 meters (77 ft 1 in) from the ship's stem, giving Ryūjō a distinctive open bow. The 156.5-meter (513 ft 5 in) flight deck was 23 meters (75 ft 6 in) wide and extended well beyond the aft end of the superstructure, supported by a pair of pillars. Six transverse arrestor wires were installed on the flight deck and were later modernised in 1936 to stop a 6,000 kg (13,000 lb) aircraft.[5] The ship's hangars were both 102.4 meters (335 ft 11 in) long and 18.9 meters (62 ft 0 in) wide, and had an approximate area of 3,871 square metres (41,667 sq ft).[8] Between them, they gave the ship the capacity to store 48 aircraft, although only 37 could be operated at one time.[5] After the Fourth Fleet Incident, Ryūjō's bridge and the leading edge of the flight deck were rounded off to make them more streamlined. This reduced the length of the flight deck by 2 meters (6 ft 7 in).[6]

Aircraft were transported between the hangars and the flight deck by two elevators; the forward platform measured 15.7 by 11.1 meters (51.5 ft × 36.4 ft) and the rear 10.8 by 8.0 meters (35.4 ft × 26.2 ft).[8] The small rear elevator became a problem as the IJN progressively fielded larger and more modern carrier aircraft. Of all the aircraft in front-line service in 1941, only the Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bomber would fit, when positioned at an angle with its wings folded. This effectively made Ryūjō a single-elevator carrier and considerably hindered transfer of aircraft in and out of the hangars for rearming and refueling during combat operations.[5]


As completed, Ryūjō's primary anti-aircraft (AA) armament comprised six twin-gun mounts equipped with 40-caliber 12.7-centimeter Type 89 dual-purpose guns mounted on projecting sponsons, three on either side of the carrier's hull.[7] When firing at surface targets, the guns had a range of 14,700 meters (16,100 yd); they had a maximum ceiling of 9,440 meters (30,970 ft) at their maximum elevation of +90 degrees. Their maximum rate of fire was 14 rounds a minute, but their sustained rate of fire was around eight rounds per minute.[9]Twenty-four anti-aircraft (AA) Type 93 13.2 mm Hotchkiss machine guns were also fitted, in twin[7] and quadruple mounts.[6] Their effective range against aircraft was 700–1,500 meters (770–1,640 yd). The cyclic rate was adjustable between 425 and 475 rounds per minute, but the need to change 30-round magazines reduced the effective rate to 250 rounds per minute.[10]

During the carrier's 1934–36 refit, two of the 12.7-centimeter (5.0 in) mountings were exchanged for two twin-gun mounts for license-built Hotchkiss 25 mm Type 96 light AA guns,[6] resulting in a savings of approximately 60 long tons (61 t) of top-weight that improved the ship's overall stability.[5] This was the standard Japanese light AA gun during World War II, but it suffered from severe design shortcomings that rendered it a largely ineffective weapon. According to historian Mark Stille, the weapon had many faults including an inability to "handle high-speed targets because it could not be trained or elevated fast enough by either hand or power, its sights were inadequate for high-speed targets, [and] it possessed excessive vibration and muzzle blast".[11] These 25-millimeter (0.98 in) guns had an effective range of 1,500–3,000 meters (1,600–3,300 yd), and an effective ceiling of 5,500 meters (18,000 ft) at an elevation of +85 degrees. The maximum effective rate of fire was only between 110 and 120 rounds per minute because of the frequent need to change the fifteen-round magazines.[12] The machine-guns were replaced during a brief refit in April–May 1942 with six triple-mount 25-millimeter (0.98 in) AA guns.[6]



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