08 October 2020
by Kosuke Takahashi
The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) has decided that its two Izumo-class helicopter carriers will not be fitted with a ‘ski-jump’ ramp to facilitate operations of the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Janes has learnt.
Instead, each vessel will have the bow section of its flight deck, which is currently trapezoidal, modified into a square shape, similar to that found on the United States Navy’s Wasp- and America-class amphibious assault ships.
JMSDF helicopter carrier JS Izumo (shown here) is currently undergoing the first stage of conversion into an aircraft carrier capable of supporting F-35B operations. The JMSDF recently decided that neither JS Izumo nor JS Kaga will be fitted with a ‘ski-jump’ ramp but will instead have the bow section of their respective flight decks, which is currently trapezoidal, modified into a square shape. (JMSDF)
This change will enable the ship to safely operate the F-35Bs by mitigating turbulence during take-offs and enabling the aircraft to take off and land on the port side of the flight deck, maintaining a safe distance from the ship’s island, a JMSDF spokesperson told Janes on 8 October.
He also confirmed that the modifications to JS Izumo and JS Kaga will be made in two main stages to coincide with the vessels’ periodic refit and overhaul programmes, which take place every five years
As Janes reported in June, the service has already begun the process of converting Izumo
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The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) has decided that its two Izumo-class helicopter carrie...