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Japan's Defense Ministry plans to increase country's airpower capabilities in 2015

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World Defense & Security News - Japan
 
 
Japan's Defense Ministry plans to increase country's airpower capabilities in 2015
 
Japan’s parliament has recently approved a $42 billion defence budget for 2015, with a strong emphasis on new airpower capabilities, with several upgrade and acquisition programs considered. The budget, posted on the web site of Japan’s defence ministry, is 2.8% higher than in 2014, and sets a new record for Japanese defence spending.
     
Japan’s parliament has recently approved a $42 billion defence budget for 2015, with a strong emphasis on new airpower capabilities, with several upgrade and acquisition programs considered. The budget, posted on the web site of Japan’s defence ministry, is 2.8% higher than in 2014, and sets a new record for Japanese defence spending. Japan Self-Defense Forces will obtain three Mitsubishi UH-60JA tactical multirole helicopters
     
This record budget includes funding for five Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft, which will be part of a new amphibious capability modelled on the US Marine Corps.

Tokyo continues to place a premium on high-end intelligence surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) platforms. The budget includes improvements on one Boeing E-767 airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft, as well as the acquisition of one Northrop Grumman E-2D.

There is also funding toward Tokyo’s eventual procurement of the Northrop Grumman MQ-4 Global Hawk, but it does not specify a specific variant or the number of aircraft it plans to obtain.

Tokyo’s fighter fleet also gets a boost, with funding for six Lockheed Martin F-35As, the modernisation of eight F-15s, and improvements to nine Mitsubishi F-2 fighters.

In addition, Tokyo will obtain three Mitsubishi H-60 helicopters – the locally produced version of the Sikorsky UH-60.

To further bolster its rotary wing capabilities, Tokyo is providing funds to develop an indigenous ASW helicopter optimised for patrolling Japan’s littoral environment for submarines.

Japanese defence minister Gen Nakatni reportedly said the spending reflects the “changing situation” in the region. “The level of defence spending reflects the amount necessary to protect Japan’s air, sea and land, and guard the lives and property of our citizens,” he said.

(Source: FlightGlobal)