Japan helicopter destroyer conducts joint drill with U.S. carriers in Sea of Japan

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-01 23:06:39|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TOKYO, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Japan's helicopter destroyer Hyuga conducted joint exercises with the strike groups of USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan in or over the Sea of Japan on Thursday, said the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF).

The drill also involved the MSDF destroyer Ashigara and two F-15 fighter jets of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF), according to the MSDF.

The purpose of the joint training was to "enhance the tactical combat skills of the Japan SDF and its cooperation with the U.S. Navy," said the MSDF.

The MSDF said that joint drill involving the two F-15 fighter jets would last through Friday, and the two MSDF vessels would continue with the exercise through Saturday.

Japan currently has two Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers, the Hyuga and Ise, which have a standard displacement of some 13,950 tons and can carry up to 11 helicopters.

The Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers, and the larger Izumo-class destroyers, are often categorized as "aircraft-carrier like" warships by analysts.

The Japan MSDF also conducted joint exercises with the USS Carl Vinson strike group in April.

The Ronald Reagan left the Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, on May 16 and began a long-term cruise mission after completing a routine inspection.