Thursday, July 26, 2018

Japan Defense Ministry studying how to carry F-35Bs on Izumo-class helicopter carriers

via Naval News
Japan Defense Ministry studying how to carry F-35Bs on Izumo-class helicopter carriers

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said his ministry is studying whether F-35B fighter jets can be deployed on Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carriers, a move likely to be viewed as yet another signal Japan is retreating from its strictly defense-oriented military posture.

Under the postwar Constitution, the government has maintained it cannot possess “attack aircraft carriers” because they are could be deemed offensive weapons exceeding the “minimum force” needed for Japan to protect itself.

Japan has flat-topped destroyers that carry helicopters, but not fighter aircraft.

The MSDF’s Izumo-class carriers are 248 meters long and can carry up to 14 helicopters. The F-35B is the U.S. Marine Corps variant of the F-35 Lightning, a next-generation stealth jet made by Lockheed Martin Corp. They are capable of making short takeoffs and vertical landings.

I stated it a while ago but the F-35B will be the most successful part of the JSF program.

There was a time when I attacked people for saying that the F-35B jacked up the development of the plane.  I still think that the blame for STOVL being included lies with Congress and not the Marine Corps...

But having said that its obvious that the only "leap ahead" capability found in this program is in the STOVL version.

Long story short?

The JSF program labored long and hard for an AV-8B replacement.

The reality?

The Marine Corps made a bitch of its sister services and allies.  We got an AV-8B replacement.  The jump jet concept will continue and is improved on with a supersonic F-35 (kinda expect the USMC to strip the stealth coating and to fly with pylons).  Everyone else got substandard F-16 replacements. 

The Corps won, everyone else loses.

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