During the first reconstruction of the class during the 1920s, the elevation of the main guns was increased to a maximum of +33 degrees. Designed by British naval architect George Thurston, the lead ship of the class, Kongō, was the last Japanese capital ship constructed outside Japan, by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness. , Kongō was laid down 17 January 1911 at Barrow-in-Furness, England, launched 18 May 1912, and commissioned 16 August 1913. During the modernizations of the 1930s, all of the 76 mm guns were replaced with eight 127 mm (5 in)/40 dual-purpose guns. "The IJN’s First Warship Order to a Foreign Country: Armoured Frigate Fusô and Belted Corvettes Kongô and Hiei – Part I". Designed by British naval architect George Thurston, the lead ship of the class was the last Japanese capital ship constructed outside of Japan as the latter three were built in Japanese shipyards.  The turrets were lightly armoured compared to later designs, with a maximum plate thickness of 9 inches (229 mm).  The ironclad was barque-rigged and had a sail area of 14,036 square feet (1,304 m2). Coupled with the addition of external torpedo bulges, this reduced their speed to 26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph) and caused the IJN to reclassify them as battleships. [N 3] When the reconstruction was completed on 31 January 1940, Hiei was reclassified as a battleship. Designed by British naval architect George Thurston, the lead ship of the class, Kongō, was the last Japanese capital ship constructed outside Japan, by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness.  In September 1929, she began her first major reconstruction. The class was built in the United Kingdom because such ships could not yet be constructed in Japan. In Ahlberg, Lars. 金剛型戦艦 の1番艦。. While, Imperial Service Ships were used by Japanese royalty for naval transport, "IJN KIRISHIMA: Tabular Record of Movement", Japanese naval ship classes of World War II, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kongō-class_battlecruiser&oldid=995040079, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 10,000 nmi (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph), Sunk by US aircraft, 28 July 1945; broken up from 1946.  The ship was reboilered at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal in 1889; the new boilers proved to be less powerful during sea trials, with Kongō reaching a maximum speed of 12.46 knots (23.08 km/h; 14.34 mph) from 2,028 ihp (1,512 kW). The two remaining Kongō-class battleships spent most of 1943 shuttling between Japanese naval bases before participating in the major naval campaigns of 1944.  Subsequent developments of Japanese armour technology relied upon a hybrid design of the two variations until drastic changes were made during the design of the Yamato class in 1938. The following year the government placed an order for the armored frigate Fusō and two Kongō-class ships, designed by the British naval architect Sir Edward Reed, from British shipyards as no Japanese shipyard was able to build ships of this size. She managed to inflict superficial damage on USS South Dakota, but she was in turn caught off guard while attacking South Dakota and was crippled by USS Washington. These guns were fitted on both sides of the fore and aft superstructures in four twin-gun mounts.  Kongō provided cover for Japanese carriers during attacks on the Dutch East Indies in February and Ceylon in March and April. , Due to a lack of available slipways, the latter two were the first Japanese warships to be built by Japanese private shipyards.  In 1944, Haruna was an escort during the Battle of the Philippine Sea and fought American surface vessels off Samar during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. , Under the terms of the contract signed with Vickers in November 1910, one member of the Kongō class—the lead ship Kongō—was to be built in Britain and Vickers was to maximize the transfer of naval technology to Japan. As built, the Kongō class was fitted with a secondary armament of sixteen 15 cm/50 guns mounted in single casemates along the sides of the hull at the level of the upper deck.  Kirishima also assisted rescue efforts in the aftermath of the devastating 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, which destroyed most of Tokyo.  Her topmasts were removed in 1895. Designed by British naval architect George Thurston, the lead ship of the class was the last Japanese capital ship constructed outside of Japan as the latter three were built in Japanese shipyards.  In an extremely confusing melee, Hiei disabled two American heavy cruisers—killing two rear admirals in the process—but was hit by about 85 shells from the guns of cruisers and destroyers, rendering her virtually unmaneuverable. In Ahlberg, Lars.  The turrets had an elevation capability of −5/+20 degrees, except in Kongō, whose turrets had a maximum elevation capability of +25 degrees.  Following carrier escort duty during the Battles of the Eastern Solomons and Santa-Cruz, Hiei departed as the flagship of Rear Admiral Hiroaki Abe's Combat Division 11 to bombard Henderson Field on the night of 12–13 November 1942. Mount Kongō … 14 in fast battleship Kongo, lead ship of her class (unlike her three sisters she was built in British yards). Was barque-rigged and had a crew of 22 officers and 212 enlisted men March 1908, the general was... To armour, and she received extensive upgrades to armour, boilers, arranged in eight compartments, were with... 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