The event marked the first time a Japanese V-22 landed on a JMSDF vessel.
JS Ise is the second ship of JMSDF’s Hyuga-class DDH and basically conducts anti-submarine warfare with its onboard SH-60K helicopters, its own sonar, VLS and VL-ASROC. However, the ship’s superior helicopter operations and command and control capabilities make it an excellent maritime base for island defense.
Captain Junichi Kaneko, Commanding Officer of the JS Ise, said:
“We conducted the first landing and takeoff training of JGSDF V-22 to improve our joint operational capability between JGSDF and JMSDF. JMSDF is striving to improve its operational capability for joint operations in the JSDF and in a joint Japan-U.S. operational framework to respond to any contingency”.
The JGSDF is strengthening its response capabilities by creating the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB), Japan’s version of the Marine Corps, to defend the Nansei Islands, including Okinawa, which is under increasing military threat from China. However, the Nansei Islands are scattered over approximately 1,200 km, so in order to deploy troops there quickly, a transport aircraft with a long range and the ability to fly at even higher speeds was needed. Therefore, the JGSDF decided to introduce 17 V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. The first Japanese Osprey was delivered in July 2020. The aircraft are currently deployed at Camp Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, as a temporary deployment site.
A new Camp is currently under construction at Saga Airport in Kyushu, south of Japan, as the final deployment site, where 17 V-22 aircraft and approximately 50 helicopters, including UH-60s and AH-64Ds, are planned to be deployed. Since Saga Airport is only 60 km from Camp Ainoura, home of the ARDB, and JMSDF’s Sasebo base is also located nearby, the new Camp will be an important base for joint operations for the defense of the Nansei Islands. A new camp will be constructed at Sasebo Airport by June 2025, after which the V-22s will be relocated from Camp Kisarazu.
Source : Naval News