The Hyuga class has a through-deck design to maximise potential space for launching and retrieving its helicopter complement. As a result it resembles a light aircraft carrier. However, it will not be fitted with a ski-jump or other equipment necessary to operate fixed-wing aircraft.
The ships' primary mission will be anti-submarine activities, using the helicopters on board. They will also have a command-and-control function, serving as flagships for the MSDF.
The ships will be able to carry up to eleven helicopters, relying on a 16-cell VLS carrying the ESSM SAM, along with the Phalanx CIWS, for self-defence. They are also equipped the FCS-3 phased-array radar system.