"The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) first announced plans for the class on 23 November 2009. This ship's primary mission is anti-submarine warfare (ASW) but peacekeeping and disaster relief operations are also being considered.
The ship carries up to 14 aircraft. However, only 7 ASW helicopters and 2 search and rescue (SAR) helicopters are planned for the initial aircraft complement. For other operations, 400 troops and 50 3.5 ton trucks (or equivalent equipment) can also be carried. The flight deck has 5 helicopter landing spots that allow simultaneous landings or take-offs. The ship is equipped with 2 Phalanx CIWS and 2 SeaRAM for its defense. The destroyers of this class were initially intended to replace the two ships of the Shirane class, which were originally scheduled to begin decommissioning in FY2014.
In 2010, Forecast International reported that some design features were intended to support fixed wing aircraft such as the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, although neither the MOD nor the JMSDF have mentioned the possibility of introducing fixed-wing aircraft. The ship has neither a "ski-jump" nor a catapult, typical features for launching fixed-wing aircraft. If the Izumo class were to operate fixed-wing aircraft, they would be limited to those capable of STOVL (short take-off, vertical landing) operations; Japan has acquired the F-35A for use by the JASDF, but has not indicated whether it would purchase the STOVL F-35B version.  It is also noteworthy that ships designated, LHA and LHD of the United States Navy, both of which can operate F35B and OV22 aircraft, have neither ski-jump ramps or catapults. (USN is the largest operator of these classes of vessel with over a dozen in 2 classes.)
The construction of the first ship of the class began in 2011 at an IHI Marine United shipyard in Yokohama, with funding totalling 113.9 billion yen ($1.5 billion) being set aside in the fiscal 2010 budget for this purpose. Commissioning of the first of class is currently scheduled for 2015."
The Japanese have noted the value of US CV's during humanitarian missions during operations supporting the great Tsunami in Java and Thailand. After the 2nd Gulf War Japan provided fuel to Allied forces but JMSDF personnel longed for organic A/C to support their operations. Japan already has the ability to replenish at sea so these CV's are the next step. Note how the Izumo class is larger and builds upon the Hyuga design. I would like to know more about the elevators and hangar bay size/design.
I expect Japanese PM Abe to begin planning for the construction of a ski jump CV in the near future. I'm not sure the F-35 will meet their expectations so an indigenous A/C may be modified or designed as well. The Japanese will not stand idly by as the Chinese expand their navy and footprint.
< Message edited by desicat -- 8/29/2015 11:49:20 PM >