AOBA heavy cruisers (1927)


  Kinugasa 1927 Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
青葉 [Aoba]   400 Mitsubishi, Nagasaki 4.2.1924 25.9.1926 20.9.1927 sunk 28.7.1945
衣笠 [Kinugasa]   541 Kawasaki, Kobe 23.1.1924 24.10.1926 30.9.1927 sunk 14.11.1942

Technical data

Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

177.5 pp 183.6 wl 185.2 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



Aoba: 4 sets Mitsubishi-Parsons geared steam turbines, 12 Kampon boilers

Kinugasa: 4 sets Kawasaki-Curtis geared steam turbines, 12 Kampon boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 1400, coal 400

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mmbelt: 76, deck: 35, turrets: 25, barbettes: 57

3 x 2 - 200/50 3-shiki, 4 x 1 - 120/45 10-shiki, 2 x 1 - 7.7/80, 12 - 610 TT, 1 seaplane (E2N1)



Standard scale images

<i>Aoba</i> 1942
Aoba 1942
<i>Aoba</i> 1941
Aoba 1941


  <i>Kinugasa</i> 1927 <i>Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.</i>
  Kinugasa 1927 Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.

Project history

Cruisers Aoba and Kinugasa originally should repeat Furutaka class, however under Naval Staff insisting a number of changes had been brought into the design, to the main things from which was transition from single to twin main gun turrets and more traditional scheme of placing of artillery. Besides, instead of 76mm AA guns new 120mm were installed, and between an aft superstructure and turret there was a catapult for seaplanes. By calculations, displacement should increase approximately on 360t. At a phase of designing designers still knew nothing about a menacing overload of Furutaka class also any measures for correction of this position on the new ships were not been undertaken. Excess of design displacement of completed Aoba and Kinugasa on 1000t (standard under the project was 8760t, actual on Kinugasa was 9773t) became a result of ignoring of weighting discipline (and, probably, and errors in calculations). Heavier, than by the ships of the previous class, armament have led to additional stability decrease.

In 1938-1940 both cruisers have passed modernization: 200mm guns were replaced by more powerful 203mm. Fixed 610mm TT were replaced by 2 quadruple trainable mounts with complete set of spare torpedoes. Ships were equipped also with more powerful catapult. Planned replacement of boilers on a number reasons have refused, having limited to transfer of boilers from mixed fuel to pure oil. Engine power has raised from 102000 to 110000hp. For stability preservation at the increased weight of armament cruisers received bulges that have made them on 0.7m more widely, than predecessors.

Ship protection

76mm main belt (80x4.1m) protected machinery only and was lightly inclined outside (9°). It was connected with 35mm main deck by upper edge, thickness of main deck decreased to 32mm near center line. Underwater protection consisted of bulges, there was not armored longitudinal bulkhead. Guns had only 25mm protection.

Modernizations 3.

1928, Kinugasa: + 1 pneumatic catapult

1929, Aoba: + 1 powder catapult

3/1931, Kinugasa: pneumatic catapult was replaced by powder-powered.

2/1933, both: - 2 x 1 - 7.7/80; + 2 x 4 - 13.2/76

(10/1938 - 10.1940, Sasebo K K), Kinugasa; (11/1938 - 10.1940, Sasebo K K), Aoba: - 3 x 2 - 200/50, 2 x 4 - 13.2/76, 12 - 610 TT; + 3 x 2 - 203/50 3-shiki 2-go, 4 x 2 - 25/60 96-shiki, 2 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 4 - 610 TT (16); CT received 36mm protection, catapult was replaced by more powerful one (2 seaplanes were carried). Boilers were converted to oil burning. Fuel stowage was 2040t of oil, endurance was 8000(14) nm(kts). Engine power increased to 110000hp (maximal speed was 33kts). New bulges were fitted, breadth rose to 17.6m and displacement to 9088/11660t (draught was 5.66m). Complement was 657.

2/1943, Aoba: - 1 x 2 - 203/50 (No 3), 2 x 2 - 13.2/76; + 2 x 3 - 25/60 96-shiki, 4 DCR (12), because damaging of engine maximal speed did not exceed 28kts (till sinking the ship).

11/1943, Aoba: - 1 x 3 - 25/60; + 1 x 2 - 203/50 3-shiki 2-go (No 3), 2 x 2 - 25/60 96-shiki, 1-shiki 2-go radar

7/1944, Aoba: + 4 x 3 - 25/60 96-shiki, 15 x 1 - 25/60 96-shiki, 2-shiki 2-go radar

3/1945, Aoba: + 4 x 2 - 25/60 96-shiki, DC stowage was increased.

Naval service

Kinugasa 14.11.1942 was sunk in 15nm off Rendova by American aircraft carrier Enterprise air group and land-based aircraft (torpedoes and bombs).

Aoba 11.10.1942 was hard damaged in battle at Cape Esperance by gunfire of American cruisers (24 hits of 152mm and 203mm shells). Repair lasted till February, 1943. 3.4.1943 she again received heavy damages by bombs of American land-based bombers. There was the explosion of two own torpedoes which have called a strong fire; in order to avoid loss cruiser ran ashore. Repair lasted till November, 1943. 23.10.1944 she was damaged by torpedo from American submarine Bream. After temporary repair Aoba remained in Kure as AA battery. Here 24.7.1945 she was hard damaged by American carrier aircraft of TF.38 and ran aground. During next raid of TF.38 28.7.1945 wreck was broken apart.

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.