Japan announced on November 20 that it would buy US made aircraft and vehicles including V-22 Osprey tiltrotors and RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drones and amphibious vehicles.
The purchase is a part of Tokyo’s evolving strategy in response to the increased Chinese military activity along the country’s south western sea border.
Japan Air Self Defense Force will get E-2D Advanced Hawkeye radar early warning planes in addition to the Global Hawks. The V-22s and a new fleet of AAV7 amphibious vehicles will belong to the Ground Self-Defense Force.
Japan chose Northrop Grumman’s E-2D over Boeing 737-based radar plane in the contest for its next airborne early warning and control platform.
Tokyo plans to have four E-2D by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. The first plane will enter service at Naha air base by 2017. Japan had shown interest in purchasing 17 Ospreys late last year and is likely to be based in Saga prefecture airport.
Japan also is buying long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, Global Hawk from Northrop Grumman.
Defense officials will request ¥100 billion ($847 million) from next year’s budget to purchase three Global Hawk aircraft by 2018. The aircraft should enter service the following year, Nikkei Shimbun news daily reported.
The ministry had set aside ¥200 million ($1.7 million) to research a possible acquisition of the Global Hawk last year.
The Ministry of Defense also has plans to buy 52 BAE Systems AAV7A1 amphibious vehicles over the coming two years.
The Ground Self-Defense Force has been conducting tests with a provisional fleet of AAV7s as part of Tokyo’s effort to establish a 2,000-strong Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade.
The fleet will consist of four AAV7 infantry carriers purchased from US Marine Corps in 2013. It is not clear whether the planned acquisition of one command variant and recovery variant for tests have been received by the Ground Force.
Raytheon was awarded a multi-year bulk buy contract totaling over $200 million to provide Phalanx Close-in Weapon Systems (CIWS) upgrade kits, support equipment and hardware spares to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The CIWS is an integral element of Japan's Ship Self-Defense Program
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has reportedly begun sea trials of its largest helicopter carrier, the JS Izumo on September 29. Izumo and another unnamed ship will replace the JMSDFs two Shirane-class destroyers JS Shirane and JS Kurama respectively
The US Navy is in negotiations with Japan to acquire its retired fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons, according to reports. The Navy wants to harvest the old helicopters for parts to help keep its own Sea Dragons flying until 2025, the Virginian-Pilot said in a report
Australia is interested in buying military submarines from Japan despite having vowed to build them at home. Australia may buy 12 4,000 ton Soryu class stealth diesel engine submarines and would replace six outdated Collin-class boats by 2030
The Japanese Ministry of Defense has announced plans to buy six F-35As next year, and theyre asking for a $1.21 billion budget to do it
The Indian Navy is considering a $1.65 billion proposal to acquire 12 US-2i aircraft from Japanese company ShinMaywa in 2015, under the ‘Buy and Make (global) category of the Defence Procurement Procedure 2013
Chinese soldiers are so poorly equipped that they wear underwear with strings rather than elastic bands and their full equipment may not exceeds the price of two iPhones, according to the Guangzhou based Southern Weekly. The article published on December 4 says that Chinese soldiers wear World War II type steel helmets while American soldiers helmets are made of lightweight kevlar meant to absorb small arms fire
Russia has signed a contract to sell S-400 surface-to-air missiles worth US$3 billion to China, Russian media reported. This marks the biggest international sale of Russian weaponry in recent years
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