11 December 2019

Isuzu: Hard hitting Frigate

The Isuzu-class was a group of four frigates built for the JMSDF in the early 1960’s as a replacement for older vessels in service at the time. Soon, Captains will have the opportunity to take command of this Japanese Cold War-era vessel, arriving on War Thunder as part of the upcoming update 1.95 “Northern Wind”!

Briefly: The predecessor to the familiar Chikugo frigate, featuring a more powerful weapons arsenal and a larger crew complement.

Isuzu, frigate, Japan, rank II.

Pros

  • Quick-firing main battery guns
  • High crew count
  • Good survivability

Cons

  • Lack of armour
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History

During the late 1950’s, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) was planning on expanding their destroyer fleet with a number of new ships intended to complement the recently modernized destroyers leased from the US Navy. However, these plans were revised shortly afterwards due to the JMSDF realizing that their frigates in service at the time, as well as being older leased US vessels, were starting to show their age and were getting ever closer to their planned retirement, scheduled for the early 1960’s.

As a result, development of a new frigate began in the late 1950’s, eventually resulting in the creation of the Isuzu-class. The first two ships of the class, Isuzu and Mogami, were laid down in April and August of 1960, respectively, while the remaining two ships, Kitakami and Ōi, were both laid down in June of 1962.

The first batch of ships entered service with the JMSDF in 1961, with the other half being commissioned in 1964. Ships of the Isuzu-class served faithfully with the JMSDF until they were decommissioned in the early 1990’s, also serving as a base for the development of its successor design - the Chikugo-class - shortly after their introduction.

In War Thunder, the frigate Isuzu will appear in rank II of the Japanese naval forces tree with the arrival of the next major update coming to the game. Unlike its direct successor - Chikugo, a familiar vessel to some sailors - Isuzu is an older design, but one that offers enhanced firepower and survivability - traits that will most certainly be welcomed by many captains!

On its firepower - Isuzu features a similar primary armament arsenal as the Chikugo, although doubled in quantity. As a result, Isuzu offers its aspiring Captains access to four 3’’ (76mm) rapid-fire cannons, spread across two twin turrets - one on either end of the ship’s hull. Furthermore, captains will also have a single, centre-mounted quad barrel 533mm torpedo launcher at their disposal

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However, unlike Chikugo, Isuzu doesn’t offer any sort of secondary weapon system to back up the main guns, disregarding the torpedo armament, of course. This means that future captains of this ship will need to be extremely cautious of the sort of engagements they take part in and maintain a high degree of situational awareness, given that they will be required to keep an eye out and manually engage targets, both on the surface and in the air. Fortunately however, the primary guns do offer a wide selection of ammunition choices, giving you the necessary flexibility in battle.

Another important improvement the Isuzu offers over its more modern counterpart concerns survivability. Thanks to its slightly larger size allowing for the accommodation of 18 more sailors on board compared to the Chikugo, Isuzu’s total crew count is therefore brought up to 183, inherently making it more capable of absorbing battle damage and offering overall greater resilience as a result.

Despite these differences, Isuzu and Chikugo share neigh identical performance figures when it comes down to mobility, with both ships being able to reach a top speed of 26kts (48km/h). Therefore, captains eager to command the newcomer Isuzu will likely feel right at home with the new vessel if they’ve already gained some experience behind the wheel of Chikugo.

Isuzu is arriving soon to rank II of the Japanese naval tree with the release of the upcoming War Thunder update 1.95 “Northern Wind”, and will become available to all Captains. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to the news for all the latest information surrounding the next major update coming to the game in the near future. Until then, calm seas  and happy hunting, captains!


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