Chikuma was the lead ship in the Chikuma class of protected cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She had two sister ships, Hirado and the Yahagi. All were built as part of the 1907 Naval Expansion Program, based on lessons learned during the Russo-Japanese War. She was modeled after the Royal Navy Town class with some modifications and was also largely influenced by the design of the cruiser Tone.
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