Pictures of a possible Japanese helicopter destroyer JS Izumo conversion into a full-fledged aircraft carrier have appeared on social media.
Japan has grand ambitions to upgrade one of its largest warship, the so-called helicopter destroyer JS Izumo, into a full-fledged aircraft carrier capable of launching the F-35C fighter jets and E-2 all-weather airborne early warning aircraft.
Izumo-class, the largest surface combatant in Japan, was put into service with the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) in March 2015. The Izumo Class destroyer ships replace the Hyuga-class destroyers, which were commissioned in March 2008.
The vessels can be used for multiple purposes, including anti-submarine warfare, command-and-control operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, as well as to protect Japanese territories in the East China Sea.
According to a leaked powerpoint slide, U.S defense and diversified technologies company General Atomics offering the concept of conversion the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter destroyer JS Izumo into an aircraft carrier with the capability to launch and recover the full spectrum of carrier-capable aircraft.
General Atomics is an American energy and defense corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, specializing in research and technology development. This includes physics research in support of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion energy. The company also provides research and manufacturing services for U.S Navy aircraft carriers.
The Navy’s costliest warship, the $13 billion Gerald R. Ford, also equipped with the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System made by General Atomics. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) installed on the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier is more efficient, smaller, lighter, more powerful, and easier to control as steam-powered catapults. Increased control means that EMALS will be able to launch heavier and lighter aircraft than the steam catapult. Also, the use of a controlled force will reduce the stress on airframes, resulting in less maintenance and a longer lifetime for the aircraft.
For JS Izumo helicopter destroyer also offering new electromagnetic catapults that provide the range of capabilities necessary to launch and recover the full spectrum of carrier-capable aircraft, including the F-35C, the world’s only 5th Generation, long-range stealth strike fighter designed and built explicitly for carrier operations.
The F-35C combines this unique capability of operating from a carrier deck with the unmatched 5th Generation capabilities of stealth, fused sensors and reliability, making the F-35C the Navy’s future first-day-of-the-war strike fighter.
The F-35C variant has larger wings and more robust landing gear than the other variants, making it suitable for catapult launches and fly-in arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers. Its wingtips also fold to allow for more room on the carrier’s deck while deployed.
The F-35C also has the greatest internal fuel capacity of the three F-35 variants. The F-35C carries nearly 20,000 pounds of internal fuel for longer range and better persistence than any other fighter in a combat configuration. And, like the F-35B, the F-35C uses probe and drogue refueling. This allows the Navy to operate its carriers a safe distance from the threat while its fighters reach remote targets.