Japan Joins US Multi-Large Deck Event

Share on

Japan’s Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer, JS Ise participated in an exercise with two US Navy (USN) aircraft carrier strike groups (CSG) in the Philippine Sea. The multi-large-deck event involved the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) JS Ise and the USN’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt accompanied by their respective CSGs. The Vinson is accompanied by the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Princeton, Arleigh-Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett, USS Dewey, USS Rafael Peralta and USS John Finn, while the USS Theodore Roosevelt is sailing alongside the USS Lake Erie cruiser, and USS William P. Lawrence, USS Daniel K. Inouye and USS Halsey destroyers.

The JMSDF is expected to hold more large deck exercises this year both bilaterally and multilaterally, as Italy and France are both deploying CSGs to the Indo-Pacific/Asia Pacific. Italy will send the ITS Cavour aircraft carrier while France will deploy the FS Charles de Gaulle, both ships as flagships of their respective navies. With Italy operating the Lockheed Martin F-35B from the Cavour, the JMSDF has been looking to enhance cooperation with Italy to learn more about ship-borne F-35B operations as well as other nations including the US and Britain.

Japan has converted the newer Izumo-class helicopter destroyer, JS Kaga to facilitate F-35B operations, entailing a structural conversion of the bow flight deck from a trapezoidal shape to a square shape. A second vessel, the JS Izumo is slated to undergo similar conversions later this year. After that, both ships will then undergo a second and final conversion to fully accommodate F-35B operations, conversions that Japan hopes to finish by 2027.shp/adj/dl (Pix:US Navy)