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Ship Photo of the Day

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
Super Moderator
President George HW Bush's former ship, USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) was an Independence class light carrier. She completed multiple missions in the Pacific during WW2 and was in Tokyo Bay for the surrender. Interesting side note that former President Gerald Ford also served on a CVL during WW2 (USS Monterey CVL-26) as the assistant navigator.

Length: 622 ft, Beam: 71 ft (waterline), 109 ft (deck), Displacement: 11,000 tons
100,000 HP gave 31.5 knots
Armament: 28 Bofors 40mm, 40 Oerkilon 20mm, 45 aircraft
Commissioned: 15 Nov 1943, Decommissioned: 1 Mar 1947, Struck: 1 Jun 1970

USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) rolling heavily, October 1944.

"NEAR MISS—A geyser from an exploding Jap bomb showers high astern of an American carrier off the Philippines Oct. 24. The plane seen as a blur above the carrier is not identified. The U.S. vessel apparently suffered no damage. (A.P. Wirephoto)"
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Super Moderator
With 40 jets, why not both?
Money and utility. Money-wise they would have to not only sink a lot of ¥ into upgrading the ship/s (which is likely to be much more involved than most folks realize to do it right) but they would also have to stand-up and maintain a cadre of aviators and ship personnel to maintain a credible capability. Not all that easy if you haven't done it in ~70 years, just ask the Brits who are returning to the carrier business after just a mere decade without carrier-based jets. The fact that a ship of that size could possibly only carry 6-8 F-35B's is indicative to me just how little thought was or has been put into this, when similar or even smaller sized "CVL's" that the Brits, Italians and others have/had could carry at least twice that amount of jets.

Utilizing their F-35B's in a role similar to what the Swedes and the RAF did with their Viggens and Harriers could give them far more flexibility with far more locations from which to base from for much less, allowing them to buy more aircraft. Especially since carriers are primarily a power projection capability and Japan isn't really in that business anymore.

While it may not bring much capability as a stand-alone, they could stand as a pretty lethal add-on in a CVN strike force construct.
Not likely, that small a number of aircraft would realistically only be able to fulfill a mission or two a day in a joint scenario. It makes more sense to pack her full of ASW helos to protect a larger battle group.
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Utilizing their F-35B's in a role similar to what the Swedes and the RAF did with their Viggens and Harriers
Minus Russian mistake to deploy VSTOL Yak-38s to Afghan in 1983. In theory, they could have been sent to a mountain pads or short road strips and gave CAS far more faster than helos. In practice they were absolutely useless being unable to takeoff with something more than the fuel in inner tanks.
Look, Japanese had restarted their carrier business from amazing ships of Osumi-class, with full straight deck but without hangar: even the biggest possible airplane embarked, CH-47, was to be ashore for night - the Japanese parlance for these ships is something like "airborne assault transport for Northern territories", meaning purely Hokkaido island. Very seldom example of the ship intended to defend its own land by counter-landings on this very land. So maybe the wedding of F-35B and Idzumo-class is something similar - it is not full-time embarkation, just a means to improve that same flexibility. Hokkaido is almost entirely covered with mountains, and it might be better to land the troops and relocate the VSTOLs from ships when needed than to base it all there permanently, I suppose. In this case any serious modernization is not compulsory.