The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, also referred to as the Japanese Army, has tweeted on the official Twitter account, the images show its newest V-22 Osprey aircraft during exercise with the U.S. Marines.
Posts to Twitter account “Japanese Army” said that: “Members are learning the V-22 maneuvering with using JGSDF V-22 in USMC New River Airfield. It was the first time to make the formation flight with USMC, USAF, US Navy & JGSDF all-together & it deepened the interoperability between Japan and U.S.”
The Japanese government plans to introduce a special operations variant of the V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft for Self-Defense Forces to conduct dangerous and covert missions abroad, such as the rescuing of Japanese citizens, according to sources.
The JGSDF will receive the V-22B Block C variant, the same in service with the U.S. Marine Corps as MV-22. The Block C Ospreys; these aircraft feature a new radar, along with additional mission management and electronic warfare equipment.
Japan ordered the first five Ospreys for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in July 2015 for $332 million.
A number of V-22s will be stationed aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s new 19,5000-ton helicopter carrier Izumo. Japan’s Ministry of Defense also announced its intention to deploy some V-22s in the East China Sea.
The purchase of V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft is part of a larger push of the JSDF to improve its amphibious and naval warfare capabilities.