2014年09月04日

Abe appoints new defence minister

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Abe appoints new defence minister

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

02 September 2014

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed Akinori Eto as defence minister, replacing Itsunori Onodera, on 3 September.

Abe also made Eto the minister responsible for national security legislation, a newly created position to achieve the premier's goal of legislating Japan's biggest post-war security policy change.

Eto, 58, served as parliamentary vice-minister in the Cabinet Office under Junichiro Koizumi between 2004 and 2005, and as senior vice-defence minister in Abe's first-term cabinet in 2007 and in Yasuo Fukuda's cabinet from 2007 to 2008. He also assumed this post in Abe's second-term cabinet from 2012 to 2013.

Most recently, he has served as chairman of the lower house's Committee on National Security from 2013 to the present.

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posted by Kosuke at 01:43| Comment(0) | Jane's Defence Weekly

2014年08月30日

Japanese MoD requests largest ever budget

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Japanese MoD requests largest ever budget

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo and James Hardy, London - IHS Jane's Defence Industry

28 August 2014

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) on 29 August asked for JPY5.05 trillion (USD48.6 billion) for fiscal year 2015, its largest ever budget request.

The request is up 3.5% from the current fiscal year budget and is the third consecutive rise under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has adopted a tougher stance against China since returning to power in December 2012.

The budget request, which will be sent to the finance ministry to consider before a decision later this year, includes funding for new capabilities such as tiltrotor aircraft, high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles, and new early-warning aircraft.

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posted by Kosuke at 02:29| Comment(0) | Jane's Defence Weekly

2014年08月13日

Japanese MoD denies reports of 2015 first flight for ATD-X prototype

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Japanese MoD denies reports of 2015 first flight for ATD-X prototype

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

12 August 2014


The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD)'s Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have both dismissed news reports that the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter prototype will make its maiden flight in January 2015.

The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported on 12 August that MHI had decided to conduct the first flight of the ATD-X, a prototype for a future fighter to replace the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Mitsubishi F-2, in January. The newspaper did not disclose its source.

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The newspaper also said the MoD would make a final decision on whether to proceed with production by fiscal year 2018 after assessing the aircraft's capabilities and cost. It said MHI would deliver the prototype to the MoD by the end of March 2015.

Similarly, Jiji Press on 12 August reported MHI plans to conduct the test flight of the aircraft as early as January, citing a government-related official as its news source.

However, a TRDI spokesman denied both reports to IHS Jane's , saying: "We have not firmed up when the first test flight of the ATD-X will be conducted."

An MHI spokesman: "We didn't announce that. We will decide when to conduct the first flight in consultation with the MoD."

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In April Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera reaffirmed the MoD's plan for a first flight for the ATD-X this year, adding in the Diet that the ministry would decide by FY18 whether to build a future stealth fighter domestically or via international joint development, based on parameters such as technological achievements and cost effectiveness.

The ATD-X, also known as 'Shinshin' meaning 'Spirit of the heart', is being built by MHI's plant at Komaki Minami in Nagoya. It has been designed to be a stealthy air-superiority fighter with enhanced manoeuvrability. The MoD will use it to research advanced technologies and system integration, after which it plans to produce a 'sixth-generation' fighter encompassing i3 (informed, intelligent and instantaneous) concepts and counter-stealth capabilities.

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Meanwhile, the TRDI on 12 August released four photographs of the ATD-X taken on 8 May. In the images, some parts of the landing gear and exhaust slots have been blurred.

Related articles:
•Japan's indigenous stealth jet prototype 'to fly this year'
•Japanese MoD requests USD55 million for first flight of ATD-X prototype

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