Landing, Takeoff Tests Held on Japan's De Facto Aircraft Carrier
Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--State-of-the-art F-35B stealth fighters of the U.S. military successfully made test landings on and takeoffs from the destroyer Izumo of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Tuesday.
The successful test landings and takeoffs "will lead to an improvement of interoperability between Japan and the United States and also a boost in the deterrent and coping capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance," Kishi stressed at a press conference.
The test was held off the coast of the western Japan region of Shikoku on Sunday, with the support of U.S. Marines stationed at the Iwakuni air base in the western prefecture of Yamaguchi.
The Japanese ministry has signed a contract to purchase 18 F-35B jets, which are capable of short takeoff and vertical landing, by the end of fiscal 2023. It plans to gradually deploy the aircraft at bases in the country from fiscal 2024.
The Izumo underwent a revamp to improve the heat resistance of its deck by June this year.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]