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New Baby Flattop

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The JMSDF has a new helicopter carrier. See here and here for a bit more on Japan’s slow-motion carrier program. As the authors note, whenever one of this baby carrier comes into service, questions emerge over whether it could, at some point, operate the F-35B. In most cases the answer seems to be “difficult, not impossible.” The potential emerging market for a serious VTOL fighter makes me wonder, again, about whether continuing production and development of the Yak-141 would have been a good idea for the Russians. No stealth, but VTOL, supersonic, and apparently with a decent weapons load. The Wikipedia page says that LockMart entered into a development agreement with Yakolev after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but that the deal went nowhere and plane was cancelled. I don’t know anything about it, but I gotta wonder…

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