Agano Class, Japanese Light Cruisers

Photograph of Agano-class cruiser

U.S. Naval Institute. Via Lacroix and Wells (1997)

Schematic of Agano-class cruiser

ONI 222



6652 tons standard displacement


571'1" by 49'10" by 18'5"
174.1m by 15.20m by 5.63m

Maximum speed     

35 knots




1 Type 1 Number 2 Model 11 catapult
2 seaplanes


3x2 6"/50 guns
2x2 3.1"/60 AA guns
2x3 25mm/60 machine guns
2x2 13mm/76 machine guns
2x4 Long Lance torpedo tubes (one reload)
Two depth charge rails with 18 Type 95 depth charges
3 Type 88 mines
Minesweeping equipment


656 tons
2.36" (60mm) CNC machinery belt
2.16" (55mm) internal CNC magazine belt
0.79" (20mm) CNC deck over machinery and magazines
Maximum 1.57" (40mm) CNC conning tower
0.63" (16mm) Dücol uptakes
0.75" (19mm) gun houses
4-shaft Kampon impulse single-flow turbines (100,000 shp)
6 Kampon boilers


1405 tons fuel oil
22 tons aviation gasoline


6200 nautical miles (11,500 kilometers) at 18 knots
1160 nautical miles (2150 km) at 35 knots
Sensors All except Agano:  Type 21  radar.
Type 93 Model 2 hydrophones
Type 93 Model 3 sonar
Type 93 radio direction finder

The light antiaircraft armament was being upgraded even before the final units commissioned, and eventually reached 10 triple 25mm guns and up to 28 single 25mm guns by late 1944.

Agano received Type 21 radar in 1943-6. All surviving units received Type 13 and Type 22 radar and radar intercept receivers as well as infrared communications gear by late 1944.

The Aganos were built between 1942 and 1944. They were designed as fast scouts but were typically employed as destroyer flotilla leaders. They were rather poorly protected, with less than 10% of their displacement in armor, leaving them vulnerably to 6" shell hits. Their 6" guns were given a 55° elevation, but this failed to give them any meaningful antiaircraft capability due to their low rate of fire. However, the Aganos were good sea boats with significant anti-submarine capability. They had ample ventilation and a refrigeration plant that must have contributed to habitability.

The aviation gasoline stores were surrounded by a void space containing carbon dioxide.

In spite of their light protection, the ships proved tough in combat, Yahagi taking 12 bomb hits and seven torpedo hits before being sunk alongside Yamato in April 1945.

Units in the Pacific:


completed 1942-10-31 (Sasebo) Torpedoed 1944-2-17 near Truk by Skate.


completed 1943-6-30 (Yokosuka)       Sunk by carrier aircraft 1944-10-26 during the Leyte campaign.


completed 1943-12-29 (Sasebo)       Sunk by carrier aircraft 1945-4-7 in company with Yamato.
Sakawa       completed 1944-11-30 (Sasebo)

Photo Gallery

Side view of Agano-class light cruiser

U.S. Navy

Bow view of Agano-class light cruiser

Mikasa Memorial Museum

Overhead view of Agano-class light cruiser

U.S. Navy


Lacroix and Wells (1997)
Whitley (1995)

Worth (2001)

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