Redesign for F-35B

Redesign for F-35B August 27, 2019

Japan recently announced plans to convert helicopter carrier JDS Izumo (DDH-183) and her sister JDS Kaga (DDH-184), of the Izumo ‘helicopter destroyer’ class, into light aircraft carriers capable of operating F-35B jets. Japan is completing modifications necessary to support F-35B flight operations from the helicopter carrier, local media have reported. The government has also approved a plan to purchase U.S.-made F-35B fighter jets which have short take-off and vertical landing capabilities. The F-35B jets will be mainly used on the Izumo and Kaga, but the aircraft will not be deployed until after fiscal 2024. 

It was also reported recently that JS Izumo is to be redesignated as a multi-purpose escort destroyer to comply with Japan’s pacifist constitution that limits JSDF capabilities to self-defence. “The Izumo was originally designed as a multipurpose escort ship, so it wouldn’t pose any threat to other countries if fighter jets are deployed on it,” Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya was quoted.

According to various government sources, US government officials, who visited Japan in March, were announced plans to strengthen Izumo and asked for U.S. cooperation and advice in the operation of the F-35B jets. 

Issue 82