The Shōkaku class aircraft carriers (Japanese: 翔鶴 "Flying Crane") were a pair of aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Shōkaku and Zuikaku formed the 5th Carrier Division of the IJN, and both fought with distinction, with both participating in the first carrier battle in history, the battle of the Coral Sea. Eventually, both ships were destroyed before the end of the Second World War, with Shōkaku being sunk by an American submarine in the battle of the Phillipine Sea, and Zuikaku being sunk at the end of the same year in the battle of Leyte Gulf. Out of the original six Japanese carriers that attacked Pearl Harbour, the Shōkaku and Zuikaku were the 5th and 6th to be destroyed, respectively.
The Shōkaku class carriers were part of the same program that also included the Yamato-class battleships. No longer restricted by the provisions of the Washington Naval Treaty, which expired in December 1936, the Imperial Japanese Navy was free to incorporate all those features they deemed most desirable in an aircraft carrier, namely high speed, a long radius of action, heavy protection and a large aircraft capacity. Shōkaku was laid down at Yokosuka Dockyard on 12 December 1937, launched on 1 June 1939, and commissioned on 8 August 1941.
With an efficient modern design, a displacement of about 32,000 long tons (33,000 t), and a top speed of 34 kn (63 km/h; 39 mph), Shōkaku could carry 70–80 aircraft. Her enhanced protection compared favorably to that of contemporary Allied aircraft carriers and enabled Shōkaku to survive serious battle damage during Coral Sea and Santa Cruz.
Shōkaku's primary air defense consisted of sixteen 127 mm (5.0 in) dual-purpose AA guns in twin mountings. These were sited below flight deck level on projecting sponsons with four such paired batteries on either side of the ship's hull, two forward and two aft. Four fire control directors were installed, two on the port side and two to starboard. A fifth fire control director was located atop the carrier's island and could control any or all of the heavy-caliber guns as needed.
Initially, light AA defense was provided by twelve triple-mount 25 mm (0.98 in) AA guns. Further mounts were added in 1943.
In Game Edit
This vehicle is unplayable, and can only appear as AI. Allied carriers can be landed on to rearm and/or refuel.