World

Japanese Navy gets biggest warship since WWII

An aerial view of Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force's helicopter destroyer Izumo is seen at its launching ceremony in Yokohama. File photo

An aerial view of Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force's helicopter destroyer Izumo is seen at its launching ceremony in Yokohama. File photo   | Photo Credit: KYODO

Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific.

The 248-metre-long Izumo resembles U.S. Marine Corp amphibious assault carriers in size and design but it is designated as a helicopter destroyer, a label that allows Japan to keep within the bounds of a constitutional ban on owning the means to wage war.

"The vessel can serve in a wide range of roles, including peace keeping operations, international disaster relief and aid," said General Nakatani, Japan's Minister of Defence standing beside the vessel after a handover ceremony at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama.

Japan is also adding longer-range patrol aircraft and military cargo planes to its defence capability, and buying Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, amphibious assault vehicles and Boeing's Osprey troop carrier, which can operate from the Izumo.

The Izumo does not have a catapult necessary to launch fixed-wing fighters, but a planned vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) variant of the F-35 could fly from the Izumo's flight deck.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:35:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/japanese-navy-gets-biggest-warship-since-wwii/article7031221.ece

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