Header Ad
HomeNEWSInternational NewsJapan may counter Chinese fifth-generation stealth fighters: expert

Japan may counter Chinese fifth-generation stealth fighters: expert

- Advertisement -


China’s development of fifth-generation stealth fighters such as the Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 may eventually force the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to adapt its recently commissioned Izumo helicopter destroyer into a full aircraft carrier, American defense expert Kyle Mizokami writes for the Week magazine based in New York.

Mizokami said the Izumo was designed originally as a destroyer that could carry helicopters. However, it is not an ordinary destroyer. “Destroyers are not 800 feet long nor do they displace 24,000 tons,” Mizokami wrote. “They also don’t have a flight deck that runs the entire length of the ship, aircraft hangars, and the capability to embark up to 14 helicopters.” He said this is the reason most countries in the world, particularly China, consider the Izumo to be an aircraft carrier.

Before it was destroyed in World War II, Japan had one of the world’s most powerful fleets of aircraft carriers. Mizokami said that the Imperial Japanese Navy sent six aircraft carriers to attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. They convinced the world that the days of the battleship were over, Mizokami said. After losing nearly all of its aircraft carriers by the end of Pacific War, Japan vowed never to produce offensive weapons again in its postwar peace constitution.

- Advertisement -


Under the constitution as it stands, Japan is not allowed to possess aircraft carriers and marine infantry to carry out military operations abroad. Mizokamu said this is the reason Izumo is called a helicopter destroyer rather than a carrier. But the second ship in the Izumo class will be commissioned in 2017 and the vessels givew Japan the ability to make war on other countries, the piece said.

While the vessels are officially designated for self-defense, the new challenge brought by China’s stealthfighters may force Tokyo to modify them into actual aircraft carriers, Mizokami wrote. “If China continues to test Japan’s airspace by flying fighters nearby, increases its holdings of modern, fifth generation fighters like the J-20 and J-31, then it will give the Japanese government all the justification it needs,” he wrote.

Mizokami said Japan does not have a great deal of money to spend on defense even though it is the third-largest economy in the world. “She is also deeply in debt, with a public debt approaching 230% of GDP. Any steps to match China’s growing military power must be carefully considered,” said Mizokami. If Izumo only has helicopters on its flight deck, the situation in East Asia will be relatively peaceful and optimistic, he said. (www.DefenceNews.in)

- Advertisement -
Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau is a team of seasoned journalists led by Neeraj Mahajan. Trusted by millions readers worldwide.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular