aerial refueling
SDF Capabilities and War Potential

SDF Capabilities and War Potential

Introduction This is part one of a five-part series on pressing issues related to Japan’s security policy in 2013. The first issue that needs to be clarified given various media misunderstandings also provides essential background for the discussion of the subsequent three posts on helicopter “carriers,” amphibious capabilities, and preemptive strike capabilities. War Potential: Constitutional...

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The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

Over the last two months a significant amount of media coverage on Japan’s security policy evolution has dominated the online sphere. Concerns have been raised about Japan having “offensive aircraft carriers,” developing amphibious capabilities, planning to acquire preemptive strike capabilities, and engaging in debate about Japan exercising its right to collective self-defense. To be sure...

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The Mystery of Japan’s KC-130 Buy

JSW pal Mike Yeo posted last week at his blog, The Base Leg, about a strange Japan Self Defense Forces purchase. Japan is purchasing 6 ex-US Marine Corps KC-130R transport/refueling aircraft. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency says in a statement: The Government of Japan has requested a possible sale to provide 6 KC-130R and 30...

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Japan Air Self Defense Force Tankers May Refuel U.S. Aircraft (Under Certain Conditions, Of Course)

Japan Air Self Defense Force Tankers May Refuel U.S. Aircraft (Under Certain Conditions, Of Course)

JASDF tankers may now refuel American aircraft during military exercises.

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Japan's Armed Force Levels, 2011-2015

Japan’s Armed Force Levels, 2011-2015

  The National Defense Program Guidelines are out in English (click image to enlarge; here for the PDF), reflecting desirable force levels for the 2011-2015 period. Highlights include: - An increase in the submarine fleet from 16 to 22, likely due to the retention of older submarines (Japan tends to retire submarines when they reach...

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UAVs and Beyond: The Significance of This Year's Miyakojima Run

UAVs and Beyond: The Significance of This Year’s Miyakojima Run

The recent sighting of a shipborne Chinese UAV only partly explains the importance of this year's training exercise: it was a display of China's growing naval capabilities and technological development.

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to manufacture Blackhawks for SDF

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to manufacture Blackhawks for SDF

Japan may be shorting Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over the future of the Type 10 tank, but MHI did score a consolation prize: 40 UH-60J Blackhawk search and rescue helicopters, with a total contract value of $2.3 billion USD. Sikorsky, which licenses the Blackhawk, said in a press release: The new fleet will replace 40 MHI-built...

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YouTube: Japanese KC-767 aerial refueling tanker

Via Stephen Trimble of The DEW Line‘s Twitter feed: Japan bought four KC-767s for the Air Self Defense Force, the first midair refueling aircraft in ASDF service. All four aircraft have been delivered. One of them had a problem retracting the boom in 2008 that resulted in a small fire.

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Japanese pilots practice midair refueling for Red Flag

Japanese F-15 pilots have been practicing midair refueling in order to travel to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska for Red Flag. The training comes as Japanese pilots from Naha and Hyakuri air bases prepare to fly across the Pacific to participate in a Red Flag Alaska exercise in June at Eielson Air Force Base,...

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C-130J refueling tanker delivered to Japan

C-130J refueling tanker delivered to Japan

Kawasaki and Boeing have delivered an ASDF C-130H Hercules transport after reworking into a tanker. The new tanker is to be used to refuel UH-60J search and rescue helicopters.

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