September 22, 2018

Current and future F-35B Operations in and around Japan

Thanks Anonymous for your September 21, 2018 comment which drew me to the Yomiuri Shimbun's Japan News article of December 28, 2018 on: 

[Japanese] "Govt eyes converting Izumo to aircraft carrier"

This includes the artwork below on a modified Izumo's F-35B carrier function:

the Yomiuri Shimbun's The Japan News article continues: 

“...According to multiple government sources, the government aims to begin operation of the aircraft carrier in the early 2020s, and it intends to maintain its interpretation that Japan cannot possess an aircraft carrier with attack capabilities, by using the envisaged aircraft carrier for defense purposes [in line with the wording and spirit of Japan’s peace Constitution], such as using it as a refueling base in defending remote islands.

The government assumes that the new aircraft carrier will carry U.S. forces’ F-35B fighter jets (see below), the sources said. By strengthening Japan-U.S. cooperation, the government aims to prepare for threats posed by North Korea and China.

...If [Izumo] is remodeled into an aircraft carrier, it likely will be able to carry about 10 F-35B fighter jets, according to the sources.

In the remodeling, the deck’s heat resistance will be enhanced so that it can withstand the heat produced by the jet engine of an F-35B fighter jet, the sources said.

[Perhaps Izumo can use UK company D&D Coating’s 1,500 degrees C resistant aluminium and titanium treatment?]

[Remodelling could include installing a “ski-jump” to be studied by Japan’s Defense Ministry in its 2019 budget]

...a senior Defense Ministry official said, “If [modified Izumo] is used for defense purposes, it will not fall under the category of an aircraft carrier with attack capabilities.”...”


US F-35Bs have been operated within Marine Fighter Attack "Green Knights" Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), at the US Marine Corps Iwakuni airbase (in Yamaguchi Prefecture on Japan’s home island of Honshu) since January 2017. See a photo of a VMFA-121 F-35B at this official Marine Corps website.

F-35Bs takeoff conventionally from Iwakuni air base, Japan, on September 18, 2017.

Separately F-35Bs land on USS Wasp (LHD-1) on March 5, 2018.


1 comment:

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

HI Pete,
The F-35B would be perfect for Japan. They can use it to protect their Aegis cruisers and the Light carriers can be Stovol carriers with added Ski jump ramp