unmanned systems
Defense Ministry considering UAV option

Defense Ministry considering UAV option

Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk via Wikipedia On December 30, the Daily Yomiuri reported that Japan is looking into UAV technology for the surveillance of China and North Korea. This is backed up by the Midterm Defense Buildup Program from 2011, which the Cabinet approved on December 17. The paper’s sources in Ichigaya stated that senior...

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Japan unveils new battlefield UAV

Japan has a new battlefield UAV. The cylindrical robot is about 20 inches across. It houses a high-speed propeller system for propulsion, while four small wings allow it to move up and down and in every direction. The drone is equipped with high-power cameras and GPS tracking. It can fly for about 30 minutes at...

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Japan to decide on Global Hawk purchase

Japan is considering buying four Global Hawk UAVs for long-range surveillance. From Ares: The Japanese military’s joint staff office is studying the possible order, reflecting its status as a national program. A force of four could provide a continuous patrol, even with one in deep maintenance. The navy is arguing that Japan is not ready...

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Hmm, this could be interesting for Japan

Via Stephen Trimble’s The DEW Line: VARIOUS. Notice the video has VARIOUS flying off a San Antonio-class LPD. I wonder if it could fly off a Shirane-class helicopter destroyer? Say, 4 VARIOUS-type aircraft, plus a Shirane’s two 5″ guns could provide effective naval gunfire and air support for a modest-sized naval landing force. A landing...

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Second Japanese anti-Superman drone crashes

A second Japanese TACOM unmanned aerial vehicle has crashed. The first drone crashed in February. TACOM, a UAV that resembles subsonic cruise missiles and is capable of being launched from fighters, has cost $250 million USD so far to develop. The ministry’s Technical Research and Development Institute said the engine of the drone, developed as a...

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Does this count as a drone strike?

Man hit, killed by remote-controlled helicopter while farming. From the Mainichi Daily News: The worker, 52-year-old Masatake Kudo, was struck by the helicopter at about 10:55 a.m. on July 19, and died from traumatic shock. Witnesses said that the helicopter suddenly plunged from a height of about 3 meters and the main rotor blade hit...

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For Japan’s consideration: air to air missile defense

This article at ARES describes Raytheon making  the case for using “legacy fighters”in the BMD role. The concept, Network-Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE), would require a fighter capable of carrying the AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air to air missile coupled with modern radars. The fighter-radar-missile combination “would make a lot of sense for Asian countries” that fly...

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This is not a cruise missile…

…but the resemblance between a new Japanese UAV under development… …and an American cruise missile is a bit uncanny. It’s just a coincidence, of course. Aerodynamics are the same in all countries, and so are desirable, efficient aerodyamic shapes, no matter what purpose. Heck, the UAV even has landing gear, it’s supposed to come back! One...

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Northrop Grumman comes calling

The Japan Times has an article about Northrop Grumman exhibiting a 1:1 model of the Global Hawk UAV in Tokyo, the final leg of an Asia tour designed to drum up sales of the long-legged unmanned aerial vehicle. A good fit? Before last weekend I would have said “maybe”. Last weekend, however, the Chinese Navy showed...

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