September 21, 2018

Japan retrofitting its Izumo carriers to take F-35Bs increasingly likely

Above is a very informative May 7, 2018 Youtube on the possibility of basing F-35Bs on Japan's Izumo class "helicopter destroyers".

Anonymous’s comment of September 21, 2018 drew my intention to ongoing Japanese Government consideration of retrofitting Japan’s two Izumo class helicopter destroyers to each operate several STOVL or rolling F-35Bs. Retrofitting may involve ski-jump bows, extra heat treatment of the flight decks to absorb vertical jet engine heat and perhaps angled decks to protect parked aircraft against short distance roll-landing F-35B impacts.

Such retrofitting would add extra weight to the Izumos. Also these modified Izumos may serve as prototypes for even larger 30-40,000 tonne Japanese carrier “destroyers”. Larger carriers may be logical even if the F-35B “flights” (only about 6 airfcraft) are not added. Larger carriers can take increased numbers of helicopters, vertical takeoff V-22 Ospreys (that Japan is buying) and more Japanese troops to be air lifted.

Any new larger class of Japanese carrier “destroyer” would be capable of carrying a wing of 20+
F-35Bs that would be much more effective for round the clock combat air patrols, “buddy refueling" by some F-35Bs and for numbers suffient for in depth airstrikes.

Japanese decision-making on this issue would owe much to ongoing international developments including:

-  China's 2017 launching of its Type 001A ski-jump carrier
-  China’s expected 2020 launch of a Type 002  CATOBAR carrier
-  North Korea’s land and sea based nuclear capabilities
-  Future full time operation of F-35Bs on friendly naval carriers including US Wasp class 
-  Possible future use of friendly F-35Bs on Australia’s two ski-jump Canberra class LHDs and 
   South Korea's Dokdo class LPHs.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Though the conversion plan of Izumo into the aircraft carrier is widely reported, Japanese government is nervous for this issue. Many parts of the official report on the conversion of Izumo were blacked out. Defense Minister, Onodera said “Basic information is collected, but it is not concrete consideration for the conversion.” Izumo can load 10 F35Bs.

Japan and UK widen technology collaboration [1]. I am interestered whether the collaboration is applied for heat resistant coating of flight deck [2].

Today, Shizo Abe was re-elected as the President of Liberal Democratic Party. He will work as PM for 3 years. He said the constitution would be revised.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

As the heat resistant coating for F35B is exposed to severe emvironment such as sea spray, rain, petroleum product spillages, heavy loading as well as high heat, the heat resistant coating features excellent mechanical strength (flexibility, toughness, fatigue resistance, etc) and chemical resistance under high temperature.

A variety of heat resistant paints are sold, only few paints can satisfies said requirements and are protected by the concession law. So, patent licensing agreement with friendly countries/organizations is one of the easiest measures to get needed technology.

The video on the heat resistant coating for HMS Queen Elizabeth is very interesting [1].

“Featured on the BBC One Show in January 2017”.


Pete said...

Thanks Anonymous [at 22/9/18 1:06 PM]


The F-35B jet engine carrier deck heat resistant coating information is indeed interesting, at

I wonder how much information UK company D&D Coatings gained from US F-35B carrier test experience?