JS Kongō (DDG-173)
JS Kongō (DDG-173) is the lead ship of a destroyer class in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The Kongō-class is based on the US Arleigh Burke-class, but is heavily modified, especially internally, from the US ships. Kongō was laid down in 1990, and commissioned 25 March, 1993. Kongō is the first ship outside the US to carry the Aegis combat system, and she was the first Japanese ship to test the SM-3 Block 1A surface-to-air missile. She did so in December, 2007, and took down the target ballistic missile. She took part in the RIMPAC exercises in 1994 and 2000, and was deployed to the Indian Ocean in 2004, to assist in the global War on Terror. She was also deployed off North Korea during rocket launches in 2012 and 2013, but returned both times without incident. Kongō is stationed at Sasebo.