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Japan’s defense ministry mulls shooting down UAV

Posted September. 18, 2013 01:33,   


Japan’s defense ministry is considering a plan to shoot down China’s unmanned airplanes that enter the former’s terrestrial skies, while China has decided to expand the range of its aerial patrol to cover islands annexed to Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu in China). As a result, conflict between the two countries is poised to escalate over terrestrial dispute.

After confirming for the first time that China’s UAV flied around Senkaku islands on September 9, the Japanese ministry has started reviewing a plan on how to cope when foreign unmanned aerial vehicles approach its territorial skies, Japan’s NHK TV reported on Tuesday. At the time, China admitted that the aerial vehicle was its own, but noted it was “engaged in a routine drill.

The plan under review by the Japanese defense ministry reportedly includes shooting down an unmanned aerial vehicle if the UAV intrudes into its terrestrial skies and poses threat to its people’s safety. The ministry judges that unlike an airplane operated by the pilot, chances are high that an unmanned airplane will not respond to warnings including radio signals and signs from a pilot, and thus pose threat to the safety of its people.

Judging that the Chinese UAV, which flied around Senkaku Island, could be the “Yi Long,” the drone capable of launching air-to-surface attack, the Japanese defense ministry is analyzing the intention of the flight, and the vehicle’s capability to fly. The 9-meter-long and 14-meter-wide Yi Long, which was developed by China, can load two missiles. The UAV can cruise 4,000 kilometers at an altitude of 5,300 kilometers for more than 20 hours.