Armed Forces Overviews
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
KAIJYO JIEITAI/Kaijyou Bakuryoukanbu
Not the most interesting photo, this 3 Kokutai Orion, but the P-3C is the most numerous type in service with the JMSDF. Unfortunately the Orions lost their colourful squadron markings starting shortly after the turn of the century. Until recently nine operational squadrons as well as one test squadron (51 Kokutai) and one training squadron (203 Kyoiku Kokutai) operated the P-3, however one (8 Kokutai) was disbanded in March 2001. Following the reorganisations that took place in March 2008 only four frontline P-3 squadrons remain.
Photo: Atsugi, 17 April 2010, Hans Rolink
Much more interesting is this one of a kind UP-3C operated by 51 Kokutai for all sorts of test and evaluation flights. The dedicated test squadron is also operating a handful of normal Orions but this special version is the most colourful and the only one marked with the finflash of 51 Kokutai.
Photo: Atsugi, 19 April 2010, Menno Teunisse
The future of Japan Naval Aviation, the Kawasaki (X)P-1.
Photo: Atsugi, 19 April 2010, Menno Teunisse
Atsugi (RJTA)
Rwy: 01/19
Pos: 35°27'17"N 139°27'01"E
Elev: 205 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
4 Kokugun

3 Kokutai P-3C
31 Kokugun

51 Kokutai SH-60J

61 Kokutai LC-90
Overhaul facilities
NIPPI Corporation

NIPPI Aircraft Maintenance Division Overhaul on:
P-3 all variants
Koku Shudan = Fleet Air Group
Kokugun = Air Wing
Kokutai = Air Squadron

3 Kokutai (radio call-sign SeaEagle) has two sub-units, 31 and 32 Hikotai, however no distinctive markings.

51 Kokutai (radio call-sign Frontier/Peacock) has three sub-units, 511 & 513 Hikotai and XP-1 project Han, however no distinctive markings. 511 Hikotai is operating the fixed wing aircraft, 513 Hikotai the rotary fleet.

A unique and very impressing aircraft in the JMSDF is the Shin Maywa US-1A flying boat. The US-1A is the Search and Rescue variant of the PS-1 ASW flying boat. Twenty US-1s have been procured between 1975 and 2000 serving with the 71 Kokutai at Iwakuni which was formed on 1 July 1976. The eighth newest US-1s were in service at any given time. The US-1A is gradually being replaced by the US-2 which is a modernised US-1. Five have been constructed to date and only two US-1As remain operational. The Atsugi detachment has been stopped and all operations are concentrated at Iwakuni.
Photo: Iwakuni, 12 September 2008, Mori Masayoshi
Gifu (RJNG)
Rwy: 10/28
Pos: 35°23'39"N 136°52'08"E
Elev: 128 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Overhaul facilities
Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Kawasaki Gifu Overhaul on:
P-3 all variants

Two other boring grey Orions, in front 5001, the first ever JMSDF Orion with 2 Kokutai marks and next to it an unmarked example. The first three are real Lockheed Orions, built in the States, all other Japanese versions were manufactured under licence by Kawasaki at Gifu and with their own construction number range. In October 2009, the JMSDF lost only their second Orion and this time not due to a crash but by their own hands. 5002 was brutaly broken up at Atsugi after being withdrawn from use in April. Overhaul is performed at Gifu and a handful of unmarked examples is allways present.
Photo: Hachinohe April 2010, Menno Teunisse
Hachinohe (RJSH)
Rwy: 07/25
Pos: 40°33'07"N 141°28'02"E
Elev: 152 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
2 Kokugun

2 Kokutai P-3C 2
2 Kokutai (radio call-sign Odin) has two sub-units, 21 and 22 Hikotai, however no distinctive markings.

The replacement for the US-1A. Originally flown as the US-1A Kai, a modernised version of the original, it is now in low rate production as the US-2. This example is the second frame and pictured here still in test colour scheme. The first one had the "standard" red/white prototype scheme but today all US-2s are in the midnight blue c/s, making it a little less impressive in my opinion.
Photo: Iwakuni, 12 September 2008, Mori Masayoshi
Iwakuni (RJOI)
Rwy: 02/20
Pos: 34°08'42"N 132°14'49"E
Elev: 10ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
31 Kokugun

71 Kokutai US-1A

81 Kokutai EP-3

91 Kokutai UP-3D

111 Kokutai MCH-101
91 Kokutai uses radio call-sign Delphi.

Eleven MH-53Es replaced nine KV107IIA-3 helicopters in the minesweeping role. The MH-53s were delivered from 1990 onwards. One was lost in a crash in 1995. The Sea Stallions can also be found on two Uraga class mine countermeasures support ships. The MH-53 will be replaced by the MCH-101 over the next decade with five delivered by mid 2012 and the first MH-53 withdrawn from use at Iwakuni.
Photo: Iwakuni, 14 April 2010, Menno Teunisse
The Japanese Navy acquired six Learjet 36s in the period 1988-1993 for target duties, two examples were lost in accidents since. The four remaining U-36As are part of the mixed fleet of 91 Kokutai, the other type being the UP-3D Orion.
Photo: Iwakuni, Marcel J. van Bielder
Iwoto (RJAW)
Iwo Jima
Rwy: 07/25
Pos: 24°47'02"N 141°19'22"E
Elev: 378 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
21 Kokugun

73 Kokutai/Iwotou Koku Bunkentai UH-60J 73
Bunkentai = detachment

The Mitsubishi UH-60J replaced the S-61AH as the dedicated Search and Rescue helicopter with, initially, six Kyunan Hikotai (Air Base Squadrons)at the JMSDF main bases. However, following the March 2008 reorganisations those at Hachinohe, Shimofusa, Atsugi, Ozuki and Iwo Jima were disbanded in favour of two new squadrons, each with three detachments.
Photo: Kanoya, 11 April 2010, Menno Teunisse
Kanoya (RJFY)
Rwy: 08L/26R, 08R/26L
Pos: 31°22'05"N 130°50'17"E
Elev: 214 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
1 Kokugun

1 Kokutai P-3C 1
22 Kokugun

72 Kokutai/Kanoya Koku Bunkentai UH-60J 72
Kyoiku Koku Shudan
Ozuki Kyoiku Kokugun

211 Kyoiku Kokutai TH-135
1 Kokutai (radio call-sign Jupiter) has two sub-units, 11 and 12 Hikotai, however no distinctive markings.

Kyoiku Koku Shudan = Air Training Command

211 Kyoiku Kokutai is responsible for training the JMSDF helicopter pilots. This picture captures three types currently in use at their home base Kanoya. Elementry rotary training was conducted on the OH-6. Three different types served the Japanese Navy since the type entered service in 1973 including three OH-6Js, fourteen OH-6Ds and the OH-6DA. The OH-6D was gradually replaced by the OH-6DA and by the end of 2005 five OH-6DAs had been delivered. The OH-6 is now probably fully replaced by the EC-135T2 or TH-135 as it is known in Japanese service. The first one was handed over to 51 Kokutai in December 2009 for testing and evaluation and by October 2010 was seen with 211 Kyoiku Kokutai.
Photo: Kanoya, 15 October 2009, Michiel Vermeer
The replacement for the OH-6D/DA is this Eurocopter EC-135 named TH-135 in Japanese service. As can be seen on the tail, it was still on strength of 51 Kokutai, the dedicated test squadron but operating from Kanoya in preparation for transfer. By October 2010, the first TH-135 was seen operating with 211 Kyoiku Kokutai markings and end 2014, all thirteen had been delivered.
Photo: Kanoya, 11 April 2010, Menno Teunisse
Komatsushima (RJOP)
Rwy: 17/35
Pos: 34°00'19"N 134°37'35"E
Elev: 85ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
22 Kokugun

24 Kokutai SH-60J 24
24 Kokutai has a sub-unit, 241 Hikotai.

Maizuru (RJBM)
Rwy: 12/30
Pos: 35°29'25"N 135°22'38"E
Elev: 19 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
21 Kokugun

23 Kokutai SH-60K 23
23 Kokutai has a sub-unit, 231 Hikotai.
23 Kokutai ended SH-60J operations in March 2015.

Seen departing Komaki at the end of the Open Day is this 23 Kokutai SH-60J, heading for home at Maizuru, a base rarely visited by spotters as it is a bit off the beaten track. 23 Kokutai is the third unit to transition to the SH-60K. SH-60J operations ended in March 2015. The SH-60J in this picture is in the 'new' overall grey colour scheme as opposed to the original 'old' white/grey colours.
Photo: Komaki, 10 October 2009, Michiel Vermeer
Nagasaki (RJFU)
Rwy: 14/32
Pos: 32°55'01"N 129°54'49"E
Elev: 8 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
22 Kokugun

22 Kokutai SH-60J

72 Kokutai UH-60J 72
22 Kokutai has three sub-units, 221, 222 and 223 Hikotai, however no distinctive markings. 221 Hikotai is operating the SH-60K, 223 Hikotai the SH-60J and 222 Hikotai is (for the moment) operating both types.

72 Kokutai has three sub-units, 72 Hikotai at Tateyama and two bunkentai at Kanoya and Tokushima.

The successor of the SH-60J, developed by Mitsubishi is the slightly longer SH-60K. Other changes include next generation rotortips and a more square observers window compared to the round bubble of the J version. 22 Kokutai was the second unit receiving this variant and this example is seen arriving at Tsuiki to take its place in the static.
Photo: Tsuiki 23 November 2008, Marcel J. van Bielder
Nagoya (RJNA)
Komaki AB
Rwy: 16/34
Pos: 35°15'18"N 136°55'28"E
Elev: 46 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Overhaul facilities
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Komaki Overhaul on:

MH-53E 111 Kokutai
Photo: Kanoya, 11 April 2010, Menno Teunisse
Naha (ROAH)
Rwy: 18/36
Pos: 26°11'45"N 127°38'45"E
Elev: 12 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
5 Kokugun

5 Kokutai P-3C 5
5 Kokutai has two sub-units, 51 and 52 Hikotai, however no distinctive markings.

The visitors terrace at Naha is a good spot to get most of the based 5 Kokutai Orions. The loss of their colourful tailmarkings make these aircraft a lot less atractive, some even say 'you've seen one you've seen them all' but this is not entirely true. The JMSDF operates the P-3C with at least two different modifications besides the standard version. As can be seen on this photo, the 5089 has a big bulge on the top of the fuselage. Another mod. has a smaller bulge on the same place and some remain, at least on the outside in the old configuration.
Photo: Naha January 2010, Reinier Schreurs
Ominato (RJSO)
Rwy: 04/22
Pos: 41°13'58"N 141°07'56"E
Elev: 24 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
21 Kokugun

25 Kokutai SH-60J 25

73 Kokutai/Ominato Koku Bunkentai UH-60J 73
25 Kokutai has a sub-unit, 251 Hikotai.

Ozuki (RJOZ)
Rwy: 12/30, 17/35
Pos: 34°02'49"N 131°03'08"E
Elev: 13ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Kyoiku Koku Shudan
Ozuki Kyoiku Kokugun

201 Kyoiku Kokutai T-5 201

Sendai (RJSS)
Rwy: 09/27, 12/30
Pos: 38°08'23"N 140°55'01"E
Elev: 6 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Overhaul facilities

JAMCO Sendai Overhaul on:

Shimofusa (RJTL)
Rwy: 01/19
Pos: 35°47'56"N 140°00'44"E
Elev: 98 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Kyoiku Koku Shudan
Shimofusa Kyoiku Kokugun

203 Kyoiku Kokutai P-3C 203

One of the last Orion units with some distinctive tail markings was the training squadron 203 Kokutai. Unfortunately it also lost the finflash during 2011.
Photo: Shimofusa, Marcel J. van Bielder
Tateyama (RJTE)
Rwy: 09/27
Pos: 34°59'15"N 139°49'55"E
Elev: 10 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Koku Shudan
21 Kokugun

21 Kokutai SH-60J

73 Kokutai UH-60J 73
21 Kokutai has two sub-units, 211 and 212 Hikotai, however no distinctive markings. 211 Hikotai is operating the SH-60K, 212 Hikotai the SH-60J.

73 Kokutai has three sub-units, 73 Hikotai at Tateyama and two bunkentai at Ominato and Iwoto.

The SH-60J was the successor of the HSS-2B in the ship borne ASW role. Currently the fleet of SH-60Js is partially replaced by the SH-60K. Five Kokutais are equipped with the Seahawk being the 21 Kokutai at Tateyama, 22 Kokutai at Omura, 23 Kokutai at Manazuru, 24 Kokutai at Komatsushima and 25 Kokutai at Ominato. This three-shipper was performing at the Tateyama open day of 2008 and are all in the old colour scheme.
Photo: Tateyama, 12 October 2008, Mori Masayoshi
The first operational unit to receive the SH-60K during 2006 was 121 Kokutai, now part of 21 Kokutai. This one is receiving the cold shower treatment to get rid of any salty deposits. The white herons in the trees in the background probably see this scene everyday.
Photo: Tateyama, 12 October 2008, Mori Masayoshi
Tokushima (RJOS)
Rwy: 11/29
Pos: 34°07'56"N 134°36'33"E
Elev: 37ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Kyoiku Koku Shudan
Tokushima Kyoiku Kokugun

202 Kyoiku Kokutai TC-90 202
Tokushima Koku Bunkentai was disbanded 31 August 2015.
SAR operations taken over by JASDF.

Utsunomiya (RJTU)
Rwy: 01/19
Pos: 36°30'52"N 139°52'15"E
Elev: 334 ft
Squadron Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Overhaul facilities
Fuji Heavy Industries

Fuji Utsunomiya Overhaul on:

To maintain a presence in the Arctic regions, Japan regularly sends its Polar Icebreaker Shirase to those shores. AGB-5003 is the third ship with that name, commissioned last year and is able to carry two CH-101s. Its predecessor, the S-61A was retired in 2008 and was operating with 21 Kokutai at Tateyama when not aboard the Chirase, the CH-101 is flying from Iwakuni with 111 Kokutai.
Photo: Iwakuni, 12 September 2008, Mori Masayoshi
JMSDF Ships with helicopters assigned. (Ship)
Pos: 35°17'32"N 139°39'31"E
Elev: 0 ft
Class/Type Ship Aircraft Type(s) Tail Code Badge
Izumo/Helicopter Carrier

DDH-183/JDS Izumo 14x SH-60J/K

DDH-184/JDS Kaga 14x SH-60J/K
Hyuga/Helicopter carrier

DDH-181/JDS Hyuga 11x SH-60J/K

DDH-182/JDS Ise 11x SH-60J/K
Osumi/Dock landing ship

LST-4001/JDS Osumi 1x SH-60J/K

LST-4002/JDS Shimokita 1x SH-60J/K

LST-4003/JDS Kunisaki 1x SH-60J/K
Shirase/Polar icebreaker

AGB-5003/JDS Shirase 2x CH-101
Atago/Aegis destroyer

DDG-177/JDS Atago 1x SH-60J/K

DDG-178/JDS Ashigara 1x SH-60J/K
Shirane/ASW destroyer

DDH-144/JDS Kurama 3x SH-60J/K

DD-115/JDS Akizuki 1x SH-60J/K

DD-116/JDS Teruzuki 1x SH-60J/K

DD-117/JDS Suzutsuki 1x SH-60J/K

DD-118/JDS Fuyuzuki 1x SH-60J/K

DD-110/JDS Takanami 1x SH-60J/K

DD-111/JDS Onami 1x SH-60J/K

DD-112/JDS Makinami 1x SH-60J/K

DD-113/JDS Sazanami 1x SH-60J/K

DD-114/JDS Suzunami 1x SH-60J/K
Murasame/Large frigate

DD-101/JDS Murasame 1x SH-60J/K

DD-102/JDS Harusame 1x SH-60J/K

DD-103/JDS Yudashi 1x SH-60J/K

DD-104/JDS Kirisame 1x SH-60J/K

DD-105/JDS Inazuma 1x SH-60J/K

DD-106/JDS Samidare 1x SH-60J/K

DD-107/JDS Ikazuchi 1x SH-60J/K

DD-108/JDS Akebono 1x SH-60J/K

DD-109/JDS Ariake 1x SH-60J/K
Uraga/Mine countermeasures support ship

MST-463/JDS Uraga 1x MH-53E/

MST-464/JDS Bungo 1x MH-53E/

DD-151/JDS Asagiri 1x SH-60J/K

DD-152/JDS Yamagiri 1x SH-60J/K

DD-153/JDS Yuugiri 1x SH-60J/K

DD-154/JDS Amagiri 1x SH-60J/K

DD-155/JDS Hamagiri 1x SH-60J/K

DD-156/JDS Setogiri 1x SH-60J/K

DD-157/JDS Sawagiri 1x SH-60J/K

DD-158/JDS Umigiri 1x SH-60J/K

TV-3517(ex DD-123)/JDS Shirayuki 1x SH-60J/K

DD-129/JDS Yamayuki 1x SH-60J/K

DD-130/JDS Matsuyuki 1x SH-60J/K

TV-3518(ex DD-131)/JDS Setoyuki 1x SH-60J/K

DD-132/JDS Asayuki 1x SH-60J/K

TV-3513(ex DD-133)/JDS Shimmayuki 1x SH-60J/K

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