Kuchikukan 27 Class Destroyer:
The year 1914 for koko did not just meant the start of WWI, it was also the year that two new shipyards envisioned in the 1905 Navy plans were opened: Kousaten Navy Yard, located in the city of Kousaten, just 16km north of Toumachi. And Hoshiguma Navy Yard, located in the namesake city on the wester shore of Koko island. Initially exploited just for maintenance works the two new shpyards came in handy in the following years.
As the war necessitated the mobilization of pretty much the entire fleet even for just patrol duties and the first of the two Yagumo Class Battleships was under construction the Naval Staff started to plan another class of destroyers. A class of nine units was envisioned and the Japanese Isokaze Class was immediately chosen as a starting point, as the two Yagumos would have needed bigger, faster and more powerful units to escort them. Koko naval designers choose to focus mostly on speed this time: Mantaining the same armament of the Isokaze the hull was lenghtened by 7,8meters by fitting a finer stern and by enlarging the machinery spaces. A sixth boiler and more powerful turbines were fitted, for an extimated maximum output of 32.000shp, for an envisioned and astonishing maximum speed of 37knots. Construction of the first unit, Kuchikukan 27, started at Kousaten Navy Yard in 1917, three more units, 30,32 and 35 were built there. Another four Destroyers, 29,31,33 and 36 were ordered and built a Hoshiguma, wile the ninth unit, Kuchikukan 34, was built at Toumachi.
Despite split production was remarkably fast, none of the units was completed (and some even laid down) before the war ended. All nine were laid down between 1917 and 1920, and commissioned between 1919 and 1921.
Each unit was 104,7m long, 8,5m abeam and had a draft of 2,8m. They displaced 1.327tons standard, 100 more than the original Isokazes, and were armed with four 120mm guns and three twin 533mm sets of torpedo tubes. Two 6,5mm machine guns were also fitted. When the lead ship, Kuchikukan 14, started her trails on January 22, 1919, there were high expectations for her planned high speed runs. Still, while they were indeed remarkable, they just made clear thet Koko dsigners had tried to fly a bit too high: Kuchikukan 14 topped her run at 35,7knots almost overloading her engines, revelaing that a safe, attainable top speed in service would have been around 34,9knots, well below the envisioned 37. Range also vastly decreased from 3.360 to 2.593nm at 14knots, because of the higher displacement and higher fuel consumption, while bunkerage had remained the same. Overall, and hard price to pay for a gain of 0.9knots in speed.
Unaffected by the WNT the Kuchikukan 27 units were, despite their flaws, the most advanced destroyers in service with Koko no Kaigun, so, until the Okaze class started to superseed them, they always operated with the two Yagumo Class battleship or with the Goryo class battlecruisers. During the late 20's they all recieved shields for their guns, and had the light AA armament upgraded with four 7,7mm brownings replacing the two 6,5mm ones. The bridge was also slighly enlarged and fitted with canvas and removable windows.
The life of most units of the class was cut short by the signing of the London Naval Treaty in October 1930. Limiting Destroyer tonnage for Koko at 78.805t it prompted immediate decommissioning for the first four units, which left the fleet in February 1931. In order to not have to scrap them outright, it was desiced to convert all ships into Patrol boats as soon as they were decommissioned. Another two units followed in 1932 and another one in 1933. Kuchikukans 35 and 36 lived a bit too long as the first had to wait for her replacement to be commissioned, the latter because meanwhile Japan and Koko had denounced the Washington Naval Treaty.
By 1937, all units of the Kuchikukan 27 class had left service and had been converted into Patrol Boats. They were the last Destroyers in Koko's Navy to be named after their pennant.
Ships in class: (laid down-launched-commissioned - fate)
Kikuchikan 27 1917-1918-1919 - Decommissioned 1931 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 29 1917-1918-1919 - Decommissioned 1931 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 30 1918-1919-1920 - Decommissioned 1931 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 31 1918-1919-1919 - Decommissioned 1931 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 32 1919-1920-1920 - Decommissioned 1932 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 33 1919-1920-1920 - Decommissioned 1932 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 34 1919-1920-1921 - Decommissioned 1933 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 35 1920-1921-1921 - Decommissioned 1935 (converted to Patrol Boat)
Kikuchikan 36 1920-1921-1921 - Decommissioned 1937 (converted to Patrol Boat)