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Amphibious Ships Transformed Into Aircraft Carriers Debut in Asia-Pacific

The planned arrival of amphibious support ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) in the Pacific Ocean introduces a new capability for amphibious support ships carrying the F-35B fifth-generation stealth fighters without relying on large aircraft carriers. Apart from the American LHD, both Japan and South Korea are interested in the new potential mating STOVL fighters with flat-deck helicopter carriers. Both countries already acquired the conventional take-off variant (F-35A), and consider operating the Short Take-Off / Vertical Landing (STOVL) B version from ships.

New Izumo-class carriers to greatly boost Japan’s force projection

Japan's new Izumo-class helicopter carrier currently undergoing sea trials is expected to be commissioned in 2015. The new carrier will dramatically increase Japan's force projection in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, raising concern in China