The Izumo-class helicopter carrier DDH-184 Kaga is seen in Yokohama. Photo: REUTERS file
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Japan studying whether fighter jets can be put on helicopter carrier

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They built them so I assume they know the operational parameters, study what. The plans in that draw? But it's Japanese Government months of meetings with a predetermined outcome conveluting the process so no individual has responsibility. I will say historical records do show that Japanese aircraft carriers without exception are at the bottom of the ocean.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Sure they can with their new F35s. Just modify the decking.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

It appears the Izumo-class helicopter carriers were designed with future growth in mind. Its hanger and elevators can accept both Ospreys and F-35Bs and the deck can withstand the F-35's exhaust heat. The only retrofit needed would be a ski-jump deck for the F-35B.

But It all depends on whether Article 9 will be modified to remove the restriction that disallows Japan to have full military capability, i.e., offense as well as defense.

At the present moment, it there's an unwillingness to remove that restriction. If that's the case, there won't be any F-35s on the Izumo.

But when North Korea launches another missile with a live warhead and it lands on Japan territory or China lands on and takes over the Senkaku Islands and builds a military base, then Japan will have to remove that Article 9 restriction and build up their military force beyond defense-only.

When the restriction is removed, then the Izumo can be retrofitted to accept the F-35Bs and reclassified as an "attack carrier."

Another thing: With that restriction removed, Japan can have a full-power military force, and there wouldn't be any need to have U.S. military bases and presence on mainland Japan and Okinawa, right? Then the U.S. can completely withdraw.......if Japan government so desires.

Those who wants the U.S. military out of Japan and Okinawa should support the Article 9 constitutional change.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

If this hasn't already been studied before the keel was even laid somebody needs to be fired. Of course it's been taken into account and all options kept. This is just the J-Govt's way of slowly testing waters.

CrickyToday 06:58 am JST

I will say historical records do show that Japanese aircraft carriers without exception are at the bottom of the ocean.

Thanks to the United States Navy. But no other country historically has ever built and operated carriers to the extent of challenging the U.S. as Japan has.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Good to hear that the Izuno may fill it’s proper role at some point.

A full capability blue water aircraft carrier is a no brainer for Japan who have a history and tradition of operating and building some of the best carriers ever constructed.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

It always has had the capability. They are not stupid but obviously think we are.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

No time to build another carrier ? I sense a war coming

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Some time later after Trump tries to get impeached with bursting coffers:

"Japan studying whether conducting nuclear launches from their islands could be called "aggressive""

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Thanks to the United States Navy. But no other country historically has ever built and operated carriers to the extent of challenging the U.S. as Japan [did].

Minor grammatical point.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Looks like the "peaceful and benign" China plans to build a fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

http://www.atimes.com/article/china-eyes-building-nuclear-powered-aircraft-carriers/

The article goes on to state that "with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, China's national interest will continue to expand overseas. Without a fleet of large nuclear-powered vessels, the Chinese navy cannot sail for a long time to faraway waters.”

7 ( +9 / -2 )

High time japan becomes a normal country shouldering it’s own defenses and helping its good neighbors to defend themselves against NK and China. Japanese and all who loves Japan should wake up to the ever aggravating geopolitical realities.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

we know this was the plan from the beginning.....why would they build "helicopter carriers" ? they knew itcoincided with the production of short take off f35s

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The F-35A which Japan has ordered needs a longer runway. F-35Bs direct their exhaust nozzles more towards the surface in order to take off close to vertically. Adding a ski-jump ramp is the poor man's replacement for the catapult and it seriously limits the payload of departing planes, as the Russians know well with their Admiral Kuznetsov.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

unfortunately, war has always been the harbinger of shame and destruction to the Japanese - do they really want a repeat performance?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

LOL, The Pageantry of it all. As America's might recinds, other Nation States will position themselves in 'power' positions. Study, sure... Study history because the Military Build Up is upon us nce again.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This article is all about the art of ambiguity in Japanese culture. Considering how well the Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera knew the capabilities of the helicopter carrier Izumo and the F-35B before Japanese Defence Department spent considerable yens for them, 'studying' is a bizarre word indeed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Beware of China, they are making some unusual political moves.. and have been steadily building up their military, they already make outrageous claims to large parts of the region..

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Japan needs the ability to project power as part of self defense by keeping attacks away from the country. Far better to engage farther at sea.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Trump is limiting imports of steel. Build more carriers and help Japanese steel makers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I re-read "Japan plans to send its largest warship to South China Sea" run on Japan Today Mar. 14, 2017 and found my comments there were spot-on Here's what I posted on the thread there:

Why is this gigantic warship called an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) carrier and classified as a destroyer? It's no different from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in size and in regard to almost all other specifications. (Mar. 15, 2017 - 07:36AM JST)

It may lack a well deck to release assault vehicles and troops the Bonhomme Richard has. So it may not be an assault ship, but can't it be turned into a regular assault aircraft carrier with only minor changes made in a short period of time? (Mar. 15, 2017 - 04:07PM JST)

It may lack enough space on the deck to carry a required number of aircraft, as you say. But when it participated in joint Japan-U.S. exercises off the U.S. coast last year, it demonstrated capability to put a landed MV-2 Osprey away into a storage space under the deck. Can't its cruising speed at 30 knots (56 km/h) deal with landing and taking-off jet planes easily? (Mar. 16, 2017 - 08:19AM JST )

(As a rejoinder to a poster) You sound as if the Izumo could carry only outmoded jets. But aren't AV-8's and F-35's cutting-edge aircraft, the former having a V/STOL function and the latter a stealth function? (Mar. 19, 2017 - 07:56AM JST)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It’s a slippery slope to war and Abe, the LDP. and their masters in the US military industrial complex, are very slippery people.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

voiceofokinawa, I am guessing that extra-thick metal plating will weigh it down considerably, and change the ship's center of gravity, slowing down your quoted top speed of 30 knots. This may be partly the trade-off that the mathematicians are working on. How much of this thicker plate to apply, and where to place it for any F-35B role.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aircraft carriers are out of date and easy to sink. F-35 can be shot down by s-400 missiles, and the new s-500 missile system will come about soon. It is all a waste of money. Japan should concentrate on disaster relief and protecting our 200km economic zone from poachers. That’s all.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

It’s a slippery slope to war...

Or put it differently: "It's another step forward to become a normal nation again." It's a bad news for a few nations like N Korea, China and Russia but a good news for the rest of the world.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Anything promoting buildup of a nation's capacity to attack is in the wrong.

I imagine those F35B are bombers.

History repeats for some.

Japan should have a joint army with SK to be sure that it will not promote its leaders willingness/envy to become aggressive.

It gives China all due reasons to expand its military capacity like in the cold war era.

I firesee the next step anyway is Japan having nukes unfortunately.

Why not follow the path of Germany ?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

With some upgrades to the helicopter carrier fleet, they would operate the F35 B.

They could add a ski ramp instead of a catapult systems, and they'd need to upgrade the deck to deal with the VTOL aspect of the F35 and the heat generated.

China has said they wish to expand their carrier fleet and I believe I read they are attempting to put nuclear propulsion in their next generation carrier. Which means they wish to project their fleet further, instead of its traditional blue water fleet close to home.

China built their carrier from an old russian design and they have started to force others in the region to counter balance the power of the carrier.

Carriers are certainly not out of date. We have seen how carriers can influence a whole campaign, namely the Falklands which was the first modern conflict to put carriers up against modern NATO equipment. The Super Etendard and the Exocet missile. They certainly did a great job in the Iraq campaign and we have seen how russian used their carrier in Syria. More importantly they have shown how important they are when going up against a country that DOESN'T have a carrier.

If china wanted to take something and Japan couldn't retake it because of a lack of air power, or put an exclusion zone around an island, then china could easily take i what it wants by projecting its air cover one a fast area. So it makes strategic sense for japan to upgrade its helicopter carriers.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Carriers are certainly not out of date. We have seen how carriers can influence a whole campaign, namely the Falklands which was the first modern conflict to put carriers up against modern NATO equipment.

That was almost 40 years ago.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Any ship that can launch even a handful of modern fixed wing aircraft is a game changer.

If an opponent encounters a fleet with destroyers, submarines, frigates, tankers and a helecopter carrier it will deal with it in calm way with some missiles and a few fixed wing aircraft at standoff range.

If it encounters a fleet with even one ship capable of operating fixed wing aircraft it is forced to deal with it at a much further range and with a greater number of fixed wing aircraft including air superiority aircraft.

The threat provided is greatly increased and must be dealt with accordingly. This is why China is increasing its fleet of Aircraft carriers, and is exactly why India, Japan and Australia need to operate at least 2 Aircraft carriers apiece as a counterbalance. Without it China can do as it pleases and intimidate it neighbours and countries further afield.

Japan and Australia must make their Helecopter carriers, fixed wing capable as soon as possible. And both should look to be purchasing a purpose made Aircraft carrier of 40,000-60,000 ton range.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They keep doing things in apparent violation of the Constitution. In the end, they'll say the Constitution is out of date  and must be revised to conform with the reality. Isn't it like putting the cart before the horse?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

They keep doing things in apparent violation of the Constitution.

NO WHERE in the Japanese constitution that states she cannot own aircraft carriers.

The constitution does not define what kind of equipment she can own or not own.

Even if a single gun was used to solve a dispute against another nation it would be considered a violation of the constitution but the JSDF owns countless number of them.

Basically your argument is flame bait.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Jonathan PrinToday 02:00 pm JST

I imagine those F35B are bombers.

A VSTOL fighter flying off a sky jump has a massive weight penalty against it.

F-35B can only be equipped with relatively light weapons like Air to Air missiles in this kind of situation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They keep doing things in apparent violation of the Constitution...

Constitution, like any other laws, are subject to interpretations, which are varied among Japanese people. Government acts according to their own official interpretations. Unless somebody challenges successfully against such interpretations in the supreme court, they can continue to act according to their own interpretations. Can Japan send missiles against another nation if they are attacked first? Is it a self-defense? Some say yes while others say no.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They keep doing things in apparent violation of the Constitution...

Constitution, like any other laws, are subject to interpretations, which are varied among Japanese people. Government acts according to their own official interpretations. Unless somebody challenges successfully against such interpretations in the supreme court, they can continue to act according to their own interpretations. Can Japan send missiles against another nation if they are attacked first? Is it a self-defense? Some say yes while others say no.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some neo-nationalsitic fools seem to be under a delusion that Japan might ever have a chance of defending itself from any of the major "players" in the region (Russia, China even more so). Well, the islands would be gone in a giffy had they mounted a nuclear attack, whatever Japan does to develop "defensive" or offensive measures. Now, what you fools could do to keep your beloved islands afloat? NOT TAUNT HALF THE WORLD. It is really simply, if you create no friction, most imbeciles won't even look at you. Nations included.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

At this time point, it is pointless to have carriers and Japan can have them and neither China nor the ROK would care, because they have the means to sink it within 30 minutes if required to.

Even the US is now requiring 1000 nm combat radius in 6th gen fighters and is buying a fleet of stealth drone tankers to keep its carriers at least 1000 nm away from Chinese coast line, any Japanese carrier has nowhere to go because of the short range of the F-35B.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

garypenMar. 4  03:42 pm JST

Carriers are certainly not out of date. We have seen how carriers can influence a whole campaign, namely the Falklands which was the first modern conflict to put carriers up against modern NATO equipment.

That was almost 40 years ago.

Maybe you don't see the comparison between the falklands war, the islands being built on the south china see, and the island disputes, between china, japan, vietnam, et al.

There will be only one way to project air power and that will be by putting carriers on the sea and boots on the ground to retake those island. And how to you protect those troops on the ground? by air power. Seriously! 40 years ago? If you look at history you will see how the carrier also played its part in WW2. You can see how the carriers were responsible for the defeat of Japan and also how it helped the UK in WW2.

And if 40 years ago was your excuse now, the time period between WW2 and the Falklands was 38 years, and it proved that the carrier was just as relevant then as it is now. And you can see how important air power is today when you look at Iraq 1 and 2, and how important it is in Syria today. and how important it was in the Balkans war and how the carriers played a huge part in that. You can also see how the carriers were involved in Libya too.

Seriously.40 years ago? If you have a logical discussion then fine, but the basics are still there, and haven't changed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What exactly is Japan going to do with carriers? China is within flying range of every JP military base with a single in flight refueling.

What is the point of having F-35's on these? Are they going to post it in the Philippines or South China? You know, the absolute worst place in the world for a carrier to be hanging out if you want it to stay afloat?

Politicians are clueless. This thing is going to be sunk in a heartbeat if Japan decides to start playing WW2 games again with carriers. Aerial warfare has progressed. Helicopters need a carrier because of short range and the difficulty of in flight refueling with them. Japan would be smart to increase its aerial refueling aircraft and buddy-fueling systems.

The F-35 is not a good ground attack aircraft but it CAN carry A/G missiles which, while not as good as the thousands of lbs of bombing power like an F15E or other strike aircraft, will still get the job done in many cases.

Japan should focus more on improving relations and staying out of wars rather than preparing for wars it has no possibility of winning.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe you don't see the comparison between the falklands war, the islands being built on the south china see, and the island disputes, between china, japan, vietnam, et al.

There is none. Carriers helped the UK in the Falklands because the RAF was thousands of miles away. They needed the carriers to bring the air power to the war.

Add to that the fact that Argentina had no air power to speak of, and you have a one-sided conflict between a an almost-superpower and a 3rd world country.

There will be only one way to project air power and that will be by putting carriers on the sea and boots on the ground to retake those island. And how to you protect those troops on the ground? by air power. Seriously! 40 years ago? If you look at history you will see how the carrier also played its part in WW2. You can see how the carriers were responsible for the defeat of Japan and also how it helped the UK in WW2.

WW2 was 70 years ago, so your analogies are moving in the wrong direction.

You know, Japan had carriers, too. Do you know where they are now? In the bottom of the ocean. They were sunk by 1940's era gravity bombs and diesel-powered submarines. Do you have any idea how those giant floating targets would do against a real adversary like China or Russia using guided missiles and modern submarines?

And if 40 years ago was your excuse now, the time period between WW2 and the Falklands was 38 years, and it proved that the carrier was just as relevant then as it is now. And you can see how important air power is today when you look at Iraq 1 and 2, and how important it is in Syria today. and how important it was in the Balkans war and how the carriers played a huge part in that. You can also see how the carriers were involved in Libya too.

The Falklands are moot for reasons above. The Middle East is similar, in that the US has superior air power to any of the local military forces (except perhaps for Israel, an "ally"). Carriers are used to bring that air power to the region.

In the Sea of Japan and East China Sea, carriers aren't necessary. The South China Sea presents an issue. But, a handful of F-35's that were neutered to be able to fly from a helicopter carrier won't make any difference.

Seriously.40 years ago? If you have a logical discussion then fine, but the basics are still there, and haven't changed.

Of course they have changed. And, the technological advancements that occur over time are the main reason. Seen any battleships lately? I guess they couldn't provide a logical argument of why time doesn't matter, and the fundamentals of war haven't changed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wahou, some beliveve here war is good for you.

Sad that they did not learn History.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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