The Japan Self-Defense Force is barred from deploying military aircraft to Shimochijima airport, which has the longest runway in the Ryukyu Islands. Therefore, defense officials are thinking of using the F-35B at airports with shorter runways.
Also, the deployment of F-35Bs on the Izumo-class helicopter destroyers are bound to draw controversy during current laws. The ships will have to be modified with ski-jumps and upgraded aviation fuel storage facilities. Tokyo might even build a new-class of ship to handle the F-35B, according to the article.
Officials are still mulling whether to convert some F-35As under order to the B-model or buy new jets.
As we have already explained, Israel too is taking a serious look at buying the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant or an advanced version of the F-15 to replace its fleet of legacy F-15s, the oldest of which were delivered in 1976.
Noteworthy the decision has to be made before a new 10-year Foreign Military Financing agreement with American comes into effect.
As previously reported Israeli Air Force (IAF) is looking for enough aircraft to equip two squadrons but it was initially reported that the service had to choose between purchasing new Eagles or more F-35Is.
But new threats faced by Israel have placed the potential purchase of the STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter as a high priority. The F-35B’s short take-off and vertical landing capability would enable it to operate from quickly-prepared landing strips close to the front and away from the fixed airfields which rapidly come under attack during wartime.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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