The truth about the only helicopter carrier in the world capable of holding F-35B

The first time fixed-wing aircraft have flown from a Japanese battleship since World War II occurred on October 3 when two Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters took off and landed aboard Japan’s biggest cruiser, JS Izumo (DDH-183).

image

Since November 2018, the Japanese government has also announced a plan to upgrade two Izumo-class helicopter destroyers to turn them into mini-carriers carrying more than 12 F-35 stealth fighters.

image

“Ever since we got these ships ( Izumo-class multipurpose destroyer, built in 2015), we’ve wanted to use them for many purposes,” Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters.

image

Although, the Izumo-class warships are considered to be quite small for fixed-wing aircraft to operate. It is worrisome that Japan has not operated a fixed-wing aircraft on board ships since World War II and needs to train pilots, deck crews, and maintenance crews to handle the unique challenges of operating an aircraft carrier.

image

A Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter from The “Bats” of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 242 lands aboard JS Izumo on Oct. 3, 2021.

image

And according to Japan’s post-World War II constitution, it is forbidden to engage in aggressive military activities. For decades, Japanese leaders have interpreted this prohibition that it means legally, the Japanese Navy is not allowed to own an aircraft carrier.

image

The Japanese Navy, therefore to circumvent the ban by purchasing what it calls a “helicopter destroyer,” which is a type of surface ship with an aircraft hangar with a wide deck for helicopters and fixed-wing to take off and land.

This time, the Izumo has been modified by Japan to allow the F-35B to operate. This activity will set the stage for Japan to deploy its F-35B aircraft onboard the Izumo in the next few years. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings. The October 3 deployment is believed to be the first to have a fixed-action fighter aboard a Japanese warship since World War II.

image

The modification of Izumo and Kaga are paired with a planned JSDF buy of 42 F-35Bs to operate from the two ships. The first of the JSDF F-35Bs are set to arrive in FY 2023 and Marine F-35s are expected to continue operating off the two ships as Japan acclimates itself to using the fighters. The JMSDF has already conducted a series of engagements and exchanges in relation to F-35B operations with the U.K. Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) while it was in Japan in early September

The Izumo is 248m long, 38m wide, and has a displacement of 27,000 tons at full load. Izumo’s speed can reach more than 30 knots, carrying up to 28 aircraft.

image

Currently, this “helicopter destroyer” Izumo is at the port of Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where there is an airfield that houses the aviation unit of the US Marines and US Navy squadrons.

The deck of the Izumo has just been upgraded with heat protection this summer at the port of Isogo in Yokohama, allowing F-35Bs to land vertically on board.

image

The entire renovation of the Izumo class is expected to be completed by 2026. The second ship in this class, the Kaga, is undergoing a similar modification.

image

Japan plans to buy 157 F-35 aircraft, including 42 F-35Bs. Contracts have been signed for the first eight, of which four will be delivered in fiscal 2024. Funds for the remaining four have been included in the budget proposal for fiscal 2022.

image

And now, Japan’s Izumo ship, after being improved, can be seen as a small aircraft carrier, not a “helicopter destroyer” as before.

Related Posts

Blurred Horizons: Uncertain Future of AC-130 Gunship Laser Weapon Program

The AC-130’s AHEL was thought to be a top candidate for the first operational airborne laser weapon, but that may no longer be the case. Aviation_Intel Modifications to Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC) fleet of AC-130 gunships means that …

Unleashing the Thunder: The Epic Saga of the Legendary ‘Flying Tank’ – The Thunderbolt!

Many thinк of tҺe A-10 as ɑ flyιng tank That ιs so old that she shouƖd Ƅe retired to mɑke way for room and budget for newer ρlanes Ɩike tҺe F-35. And yet, theɾe are Those that jᴜst won’t leT this ρlɑne Һead into tҺe sunset. – On …

1600 tons of mysterious gold sunk at the bottom of Lake Baikal: no one dared to pick it up. The army has stepped in

A huge treasure consisting of 1,600 tons of gold is said to have remained dormant for hundreds of years at the bottom of Lake Baikal like a great mystery. Although many people covet, no one has dared to find the answer to this …

Russian hero URA in the middle of the war – Realistic satellite image

In the annals of history, tales of heroes emerge from the most challenging circumstances. One such hero, known as URA, has become a symbol of courage and…

Unleashing Awe: The Unparalleled Power of the Kamov Ka-29 Helicopter Leaves a Lasting Impression

The Kamov Ka-29 was born in the 1970s, with its inaugural fɩіɡһt taking place in 1976. Ka-29 has aп empty weight of 5.52 toпs, maximυm takeoff weight of 12.6 toпs. It is 11.3m iп leпgth, 5.4m iп height, aпd 15.9m iп maiп rotor diameter. Behiпd the cockpit …

Unveiling Ancient Secrets: Explore the Top 10 Timeless and Lethal Weapons Still Wielded

TҺese are teп of tҺe oldest weapoп мaпυfactυrers ιп aмerιca stιll υse today. As far as weapoп systeмs are coпcerпed Һaʋιпg tҺe Ƅest aʋaιlaƄle caп Ƅe key to sυccess oп tҺe Ƅattlefιeld, Ƅυt wιtҺ rapιd cҺaпges ιп tecҺпology soмe weapoпs …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *