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Japan plans to acquire RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV from U.S. to gather information on North Korea 0401131

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World Air Force News - Japan
 
 
Japan plans to acquire RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV from U.S. to gather information on North Korea.
 
The Japanese government has embarked on a plan to acquire the Global Hawk--a high-altitude, long-distance unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft--from the United States to enhance the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' (JSDF) ability to collect information.
     
The Japanese government has embarked on a plan to acquire the Global Hawk--a high-altitude, long-distance unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft--from the United States to enhance the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' (JSDF) ability to collect information.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the United States Air Force and Navy and the German Air Force as a surveillance aircraft.
     

The planned introduction of the cutting-edge drone would bolster Japan's intelligence capabilities, enabling it to more effectively cope with the increased pressure by China over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, according to government and Liberal Democratic Party sources.

The Global Hawk would also enhance the JSDF's ability to gather information on North Korea, which has pushed ahead with programs to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, the sources said.

The plan is to be incorporated into a review of the fiscal 2011-2016 Mid-Term Defense Program to be conducted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the sources said.

Developed by U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., the Global Hawk can fly at a high altitude of about 18,000 meters, and is equipped with precision sensors and radar that can track suspicious vessels or gather intelligence.

The Japanese and U.S. governments agreed in August to study the possibility of having U.S. drones fly surveillance flights over waters surrounding Japan.

As part of efforts to beef up defenses on the Nansei Islands, which include the Senkakus, the government has been considering equipping the SDF with the U.S. military's latest model transport plane, the MV-22 Osprey. Arrangements are being made to allocate funds to study the matter in the state budget for fiscal 2013, the sources said.