Developed by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, Izumo is the lead ship in its class of helicopter destroyer. It can carry seven anti-submarine warfare helicopters and search-and-rescue helicopters.
With five helipads on the flight deck, five helicopters can take off or land simultaneously. The ship can carry 400 troops and 50 trucks for amphibious operations. The ship has neither a ski-jump nor a catapult to launch fixed-wing aircraft but it can still become a light aircraft carrier after Japan receives F-35 Lighting fighters from the US, which have vertical take-off and landing ability.
Japan also plans to purchase 20 P-1 and P-3 patrol planes to carry out missions against Chinese submarines in the East China Sea.
China meanwhile recently launched its 25th Type 056 corvette. The vessel is also the seventh Type 056A developed for anti-submarine warfare in the East and South China seas.
Gen Nakatani, Japan's defense minister, said at the graduation ceremony of the National Defense Academy of Japan on March 22 that he had taken note of the fact that China's military budget has grown by 10% annually for past five years.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) JS Izumo (DDH-183) Izumo-class helicopter destroyer.