The Congo and Atago class destroyers are a response to the need for vessels capable of providing effective air defense to the Japanese Navy's escort fleets even without the support of their own air force. These vessels are clones of American class A Burke destroyers and - like their model - are equipped with the Aegis system.
In addition to the provision of air defense escort fleets JMSDF, a new role was soon found for Congo-class units. The Japanese decided to use all the possibilities offered by the Aegis system and supplement the equipment of the destroyers so that they could be involved in an anti-missile umbrella protecting the state from possible strikes by ballistic missiles fired from the DPRK and the PRC. At the same time, a pair of units of the improved Atago class was built.