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Japan to Deploy Unmanned Surveillance Plane

Posted July. 27, 2005 03:03,   


The Japanese government has decided to deploy an unmanned surveillance aircraft to monitor the military activities of neighboring nations including South Korea and China as well as North Korea’s missile base, according to the Tokyo Shimbun on July 26. Japan’s Defense Agency has decided to introduce unmanned surveillance planes as part of the Missile Defense (MD) system for intercepting ballistic missiles, and to allocate budget next year for research costs.

The main duty of the unmanned aircraft will be to fly long hours 20 kilometers above ground where surface-to-air missiles can not reach and keep an eye on North Korea’s inland missile base. In the case of an actual missile launch, infrared sensors will detect the missile and convey this to Japan’s Self-Defense Force headquarters. With optical cameras and high-performance radars, the plane can also track spy ships at sea or take pictures of military facilities in neighboring countries such as South Korea, North Korea, and China.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com