naval aviation

Keen Sword 2011 (updated)

–Updated 12/10/10 – Keen Sword exercises have ended. Here’s a wrap photo. I count 25 ships. I figure at least half of those ships are Japanese. All of the major Japanese combatants — Hyuga, Kunisaki, Kongo, and Shirane are present. That’s USS Houston in front. Why aren’t there any Japanese submarines in the formation? (Then...

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First P-1 aircraft buy finalized

    The Kawasaki P-1 long range maritime patrol aircraft, designed to replace the venerable Lockheed P-3C Orion, has received its first government procurement order. The Maritime Self Defense Force plans to purchase ten aircraft over the next five years. The ministry will include the purchase of about 10 units of the new Maritime Self-Defense...

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NextNavy on the consequences of terminating the F-35B

Pal Craig Hooper at NextNavy writes about the possible termination of the F-35B, the short-takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 multirole fighter. Hoop notes that many of America’s Asian allies have built platforms apparently in anticipation of the F-35B becoming available, and that termination of the program would leave a number of...

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Putting Japanese planes on American carriers?

    Here’s an idea I hadn’t heard of before, and it’s kind of brilliant. Hats off to Galrahn at Information Dissemination: If the US Navy truly believes the Carrier Strike Group is the focal point of naval power, why wouldn’t the US Navy examine the possibilities for an integrated, international option when it comes...

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YouTube Fridays: Anti-Submarine Warfare explained

Found footage from militaryphotos.net: Anti-submarine warfare never looked so cute, or fun. Or like a Third Eye Blind video. Is that a Yuan-class boat?

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SDF expanding anti-piracy patrol zone

The Self Defense Forces are planning on increasing their patrol area off the coast of Somalia by 200 kilometers, in response to an anticipated increase in pirate activity. The extension, which will also affect an area patrolled by the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s P-3C patrol aircraft, is aimed at dealing with an expected increase in piracy...

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MSDF P-3C engine change in Australia

Via Alert 5: A MSDF P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft underwent an engine change at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin. (Full set of pictures here.) The Japan-Australia Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), in which both countries agreed to cooperate and share on logistics and training matters, was finalized in May. Both Japan and Australia...

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Thoughts on a Japanese Marine Corps, #1: do Japanese marines need naval aviation?

For some time now, this blog was of the opinion that Japan would likely skip the F-35 fighter due to availability and cost: the F-35 won’t be deliverable to Japan until 2020 at the earliest, and for the projected cost, Japan could probably find other alternatives. (More on that later this week.) That, however, was...

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Japan’s helicopter destroyers, 1975-2010

Here’s a comparison of large deck helicopter destroyers in the Maritime Self Defense Forces. The comparison starts with Shirane, moves on to the Oosumi LSTs, then to the Hyuga ships, then 22DDH. One of two depictions of Hyuga has F-35s on the flight deck. Quite an interesting evolution. It obviously points in one direction. Japan’s 40+...

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YouTube Fridays: JDS Hyuga

According to my blog stats, one of the biggest draws to this site are the MSDF’s new “helicopter destroyers”. People are very interested in them. There’s not a lot of good information on them in the English language press, but there is a lot on YouTube. Even though most of it is in Japanese, it...

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22DDH helicopter destroyer

One of the earliest articles on Japan’s 22DDH project. Basically 22DDH will be an enlarged version of the Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers. The size increase is on the order of 25%, with a flight deck around 250 meters long, and a displacement of 19,500 tons. That’s a very big…destroyer. The U.K.’s Invincible class carriers are just over 20,000...

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video: Ise commissioning

Here’s a video of the helicopter destroyer Ise being commissioned late last year. Ise was the second of two ships of the Hyuga-class. Lot of confetti there. The modern Hyuga and Ise are named after the Ise-class World War II hybrid battleship-seaplane carriers.

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