Japan to launch its first aircraft-carrier since WWII equipped with F-35
Finally! Japan to launch its first aircraft-carrier since WWII equipped with F-35 super-fighter jets
Tokyo will launch its first aircraft carriers since the end of World War II to accommodate a growing number of stealth fighters, long-range missiles and other equipment adding to the Japan Self-Defence Forces (JSDF).
The guidelines approved at a meeting of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet call for refitting the Izumo helicopter carrier into a ship that can deploy expensive, US-made F-35B stealth fighters capable of short take-offs and vertical landings.
The work would be done over five years and the ship would carry 10 stealth fighters, while the refitting of a second helicopter carrier into a second aircraft carrier would follow.
The Prime Minister’s guidelines would replace the current defence plan halfway through its intended lifespan and underscore Mr Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role and capability to make it, as he puts it, “a normal country.”
Defence officials say Japan needs better deterrence and increased missile defence and fighter capability as North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats remains unchanged in the absence of concrete steps to dismantle them, and China’s maritime activity has grown increasingly assertive.
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