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Izumo modifications pave the way for F-35 operations

1st July 2021 - 00:30 GMT | by Harry Lye in London

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USS Dewey transits the South China Sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Izumo. (Photo: US Navy)

Changes to the flight deck on the helicopter carrier JS Izumo should allow Japan to project power more effectively over its dispersed territories.

Images have emerged on social media of changes to the flight deck of the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, as the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship is modified to operate the Lockheed Martin F-35B.

Pictures of the flight deck reveal new deck markings in preparation for the vessel's future role operating F-35B fighters.

Izumo is set to have its flight deck heat-treated to withstand the strain of short take-off and vertical landing flights, and its close-in weapons system mounts relocated away from the bow.

More significant works are due to be undertaken in FY2025 to restructure the bow into a square ...

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