According to the Japanese MoD statement, the test campaign will take place between October 3 and 7. Tests will include landing and take off of F-35B Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) Fighter Aircraft from JS Izumo. It will be the first time since the Imperial Japanese Navy that a fixed wing aircraft takes off from a Japanese vessel. The helicopter carrier arrived at the U.S. military base MCAS Iwakuni on 30 September 2021 in preparation of those tests.
Our colleagues form USNI News reported in early September that U.S. Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters will operate off a Japanese warship later this year, quoting Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger:
“We’re not going to go on deployment but we’re actually going to fly U.S. Marine Corps F-35s off of a Japanese ship,”
Naval News previously reported that the first phase of the modification work to operate F-35B was completed this Summer. The modifications included new deck markings and heat-resistant coatings:
In addition, our Japan based contributor, Yoshihiro Inaba, reported yesterday that JS Izumo will receive the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JAPLS) and that Japan has already budgeted for the purchase of eight F-35Bs (six in FY2020 and two in FY2021) while the budget request for FY2022 calls for the purchase of four more F-35Bs. In total, the JSDF plans to buy 42 F-35Bs to operate from JS Izumo and her sistership JS Kaga.
To learn more about JS Izumo, check out our tour aboard the ship during IMDEX Asia 2019: