The Cost of the “Indestructible” Kongo Battlecruiser
Kongo Battleship was the last Japanese warship constructed entirely outside Japan. she was laid down in 1911 and was called “Indestructible”, the name of famous Japanese Mountain “Kongo”. At that time, it was one of the jewels of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The British designer, George Thurston, and his team was supervised by more than 200 Japanese engineers that moved to England with the double purpose to verify that the latest materials and technologies were installed in the ship and also that they would be able to acquire the know-how to construct similar ships in Japanese Homeland. The warship Kongo was finally commissioned in 1913 and during the World War I participated in patrol mission near the Chinese coast.
The actual economical cost of Kongo BattleCruiser
The cost of the Battlecruiser Kongo in pounds was £2,500,000. In 1911, one Japanese yen was exchanged to $1. We could translate the actual value of the Kongo in present days by considering the exchange ratio of pounds sterling (1911) and computing the corresponding value in dollars in 2017.
The result is quite impressive. The actual cost of the Battlecruiser of Kongo in present days is $331,232,926.83 or approximately $0.33 billion. (Note that 1,000,000,000 one thousand million (1 billion)).
How much is it compared to a modern warship?
For example, the carrier Charles de Gaulle built for the French Navy costs $3.7 billion. It means, 10 Kongo battleships would make a modern carrier. The Japanese Navy constructed four-Kongo ($1.2 billions) therefore they almost invested the same amount of money necessary to construct half of modern nuclear carrier. For a relatively small country that few decades ago was not industrialized it surely represented a huge investment. The numbers would surely be higher for more modern super-battleships such as Yamato and Musashi.
The USS Navy Cruiser DDG 51 Arleigh Burke costs $1.8 billion, which is not too far of the Kongo battle squadron ($1.2 billions). The modern Japanese Helicopter Destroyer Hyuga DDH costs less than that $1.06 billion. French Barracuda SSN submarines cost 1.35 billion, nearly same amount. We have to look at the Americal Super-carriers to scale up one magnitude the cost: CVN-78 Gerald R Ford costs $13.5 billion: Ten times more than the Kongo squadron.