TOKYO—Japan Marine United (JMU) has prepared a preliminary design for an air-capable assault ship that Japan could order in the 2020s. The shipbuilder used the LHD configuration in the design, presumably because it expects the defense ministry to require such a ship when funding eventually becomes available. An LHD has a full-length flight deck and a dock for landing craft.  In 2014 the ministry said it wanted to put such a ship in service in 2019, even though it had made no ...

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