SURPRISING EXACTLY NO ONE WHO’S BEEN PAYING ATTENTION: Japan preparing to put US-designed stealth jets on an ‘aircraft carrier.’
Japan is preparing an order for roughly 100 US-designed F-35 stealth fighter jets in a deal that could potentially upend the balance of power in Asia, according to sources familiar with the process.
That order would include a version of the jet that can take-off and land vertically, a feature that could prompt Japan to transform some of its existing ships into aircraft carriers so that it can operate the fighters at sea — a capability they have not had since World War II, a source close to the F-35 program told CNN.
“With short take-off vertical landing capability you are now able to operate at sea. You are able to penetrate areas and reach ranges in a shorter distance which is an important capability,” the source said.
This move would put Japan back in the power projection business in a way it hasn’t been since the Great Mariannas Turkey Shoot of 1944.
Full background on Japan’s “helicopter destroyers” here.