According to news24.jp, 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.