The government of Japan announced that Japan is to put its first aircraft carriers to sea since World War II, to carry US-designed F-35B fighter jets with Izumo-class warships.
Tokyo said in its 10-year Defense Program Guidelines, it will buy 42 of the stealthy F-35Bs, which are designed for vertical landings and short-run take offs.
The JS Izumo and JS Kaga, will be available for operation aboard two flat-top ships, which at more than 800 feet long and displacing 27,000 tons are the largest ships in the Japanese fleet.
Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary said Tuesday in announcing the plan, “under the radically changing security environment around Japan, the government will take all possible measures to protect the lives and assets of Japanese people.
He said, the review of the new defense guideline is tremendously meaningful to show the Japanese people and the world what is really necessary in our defense to protect the people and to serve as the cornerstone of the future (for the Japan Self-Defense Forces).”
Over the past 3 years, The Izumo and The Kaga have been carrying helicopters designed for anti-submarine warfare since entering service. They will need to have their decks reinforced to accommodate the heavier F-35Bs, as well as the heat and force from the jets’ thrusters when they land vertically.
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