Japan launches aircraft carrier… oh, sorry… “flat top destroyer”

It’s not an aircraft carrier. It’s a “flat top destroyer.” Just so as we’re all clear on that. Wouldn’t want anyone to think they were going to operate the F-35B from it.

Japan Unveils Largest Warship Since WWII

Amid increasing tensions with China over some disputed islands, Japan unveils a warship that could double as an aircraft carrier.

The ship is the largest surface combatant of the Japanese navy

The ship has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.

The Izumo, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 metres (820ft feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters.

Japanese officials say it will be used in national defence – particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions – and to bolster the nation’s ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The ship can carry up to 14 helicopters

Although the Izumo has been in the works since 2009, its unveiling comes as Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan.

For months, ships from both countries have been conducting patrols around the isles, calChiled the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China.

The tensions over the islands, along with China’s heavy spending on defence and military modernisation, have heightened calls in Japan for improved naval and air forces.

A sailor looks on with a smile at the launch of the warship

China recently began operating an aircraft carrier that it refurbished after buying it from Russia and is reportedly planning to build another one itself.

Japan, China and Taiwan all claim the islands.

Though technically a destroyer, some experts believe the new Japanese ship could potentially be used in the future to launch fighter jets or other aircraft that have the ability to take off vertically.

The warship seen before the launching ceremony in Yokohama, south of Tokyo

That would be a departure for Japan, which has one of the best equipped and best trained naval forces in the Pacific, but which has not sought to build aircraft carriers of its own because of constitutional restrictions that limit its military forces to a defensive role.

Japan says it has no plans to use the ship in that manner.

The Izumo does not have catapults for launching fighters, nor does it have a “ski-jump” ramp on its flight deck for launching fixed-wing aircraft that have a short take-off capability.

http://news.sky.com/story/1125173/japan-unveils-largest-warship-since-wwii

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2 thoughts on “Japan launches aircraft carrier… oh, sorry… “flat top destroyer”

  1. Pingback: Japan inists Izumo is not an aircraft carrier, China insists that it is | Naval Matters

  2. Pingback: The world’s largest and most powerful destroyers and aircraft carriers | Naval Matters

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