Saturday, July 2, 2022

Japan to buy vertical takeoff F-35B Lightning II aircraft

According to, Japan is officially has decided to buy vertical takeoff F-35B Lightning II aircraft to operate from its Izumo-class helicopter destroyers.

The newspaper said that the government has decided to procure the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft which could be operated from a modified Izumo class ship and Island bases.

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun previously reported that the government may buy up to 40 F-35B vertical takeoff stealth fighters from the US that could operate from helicopter carriers, island bases and commercial airports. The F-35B can also take off and land conventionally from longer runways at major bases.


“The government is considering operating F-35B fighter jets from about fiscal 2026, in an effort to utilize airports on remote islands and thereby improve the nation’s capability to defend the isles,” the newspaper said in a February 12 story.

The F-35 is the most lethal and survivable fighter aircraft in the world, giving pilots an advantage against any adversary and enabling them to execute their mission and come home safe. The transformational F-35 is more than a fighter jet, it’s a powerful force multiplier with an advanced sensor and communications suite that significantly enhances the situational awareness and capabilities of networked airborne, surface and ground-based platforms.

The US military already operates F-35B squadrons in Japan. And the Japanese government is already buying 42

F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant as the next generation fighter of choice for the JASDF in December 2011, following the F-X competitive bid process. And now, will buy and F-35B model short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant is designed to operate from austere, short-field bases and a range of air-capable ships operating near front-line combat zones.

The Italian Air Force will also operate the F-35B fighter jets.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.