F-35B begins trials aboard Japonese aircraft carrier JS Izumo

According to a tweet published by the Japan Ministry of Defense on October 5, 2021, JMSDF conducted verification of takeoff and landing of F-35B on JS Izumo with the assistance of the U.S. MOD will continue to strengthen Japan-U.S. Alliance.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 F-35B aircraft on the Izumo-class aircraft carrier JS Izumo (Picture source: Japan Ministry of Defense)

JS Izumo (DDH-183) is a helicopter carrier which, as of 2020, is being converted into a light aircraft carrier. Officially classified as a multi-purpose operation destroyer, she is the lead ship in the Izumo class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). She is the second warship to be named for Izumo Province, with the previous ship being the armored cruiser Izumo (1898).

The Izumo-class has a length of 248 m, a beam of 38 m, a draught of 7.5 m, and a depth of 33.5 m. She has an empty displacement of 19,500t and 27,000t when fully loaded. As helicopters carriers, the ship can carry nine helicopters including seven anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters and two search and rescue (SAR) helicopters.

The Izumo-class is powered by a combined gas turbine and gas turbine (COGAG) propulsion system including four GE/IHI LM2500IEC gas turbines driving two shafts. She can reach a top speed of 30 knots (56 km/h) (56 km/h). The ship has a complement of 970 people including crew and air wing.

The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft.

The F-35B STOVL is powered by Rolls-Royce patented shaft-driven LiftFan® propulsion system and an engine that can swivel 90 degrees when in short takeoff/vertical landing mode. Because of the LiftFan®, the STOVL variant has a smaller internal weapon bay and less internal fuel capacity than the F-35A. It uses the probe-and-drogue method of aerial refueling.