Japan plans to send largest warship to South China Sea
The Izumo helicopter carrier(warship)
Japan. March 15. UITV. Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea in starting of May, three sources said, It would be the biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two.
freedom of navigation is ensured by regular air and naval patrols by United States.
The Izumo helicopter carrier(warship) will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July.It will return to Japan in August.the sources said.
"The aim is to test the capability of the Izumo by sending it out on an extended mission," said one of the sources who has knowledge of the plan. "It will train with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea," he added, asking not to promote his name because he is not authorized to talk to the media.
The 249 meter-long (816.93 ft) Izumo is as large as Japan's World War Two-era carriers and can operate up to nine helicopters. It resembles the amphibious assault carriers used by U.S. Marines, but lacks their well deck for launching landing craft and other vessels.