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Japan Needs Long-Range Strike Capabilities

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Japan Needs Long-Range Strike Capabilities

There is a term to describe the mindset of Japanese people who put so much faith in Japan’s peace constitution that they are complacent about security threats. They are said to suffer from heiwa-boke. With North Korea demonstrating increasingly sophisticated missiles and threating to sink the country with nuclear weapons, heiwa-boke is a luxury the country can no longer afford. A serious national debate is long overdue about what Japan needs to ensure its survival.

Japan’s effort to meet regional missile threats rests largely on a two-tiered ballistic missile defense, or BMD, system. The sea-based tier consists of destroyers equipped to intercept missiles in midcourse, outside the earth’s atmosphere. The land-based tier consists of Patriot missile batteries designed to intercept missiles in their terminal phase. Overall, Japan’s BMD system is advanced, but there are limits to what it can do. According to unclassified sources, the PAC-3 interceptors that Japan deploys in its Patriot systems have a range of about 12.5 miles, making them useful only if they happen to be placed quite near an incoming missile’s target. The destroyers and their Aegis combat systems, by contrast, can potentially protect the entire country, but the ships must be in the right place at the right time. Whether any of this covers a specific area in Japan depends on when and where the missile drops. Worst of all—for the U.S. and consequently Japan’s value for regional missile defense—the missiles North Korea fired in August and September over Hokkaido flew at a speed and lofted trajectory that put them out of reach of Japan’s BMD completely.

To fill in the gaps, Japan could proceed with plans to purchase the land-based Aegis Ashore system and deploy more advanced missile interceptors for Japan’s sea-based and land-based systems, adding range, altitude and accuracy. While these capabilities would not protect all 127 million Japanese, especially if North Korea fires multiple missiles or uses multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, it would provide a much better chance at interception than the current system.

But Japan is also legally constrained in how it can act. When the country passed legislation in 2015 enabling Japanese forces to exercise collective self-defense, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attached strict conditions on its use. Japan is allowed to exercise force, and to the minimum extent necessary, only when its survival is threatened — either by direct attack or an attack against a country with a close relationship to Japan — and there are no other means to repel the attack.

The North Korean missile threat illustrates how difficult it is for Japan to actually exercise collective self-defense. Within seconds of a launch, Tokyo would have to determine the missile’s likely trajectory; if it appeared to be aimed not at Japan but elsewhere, its political leaders would have to discuss whether the situation fulfilled the conditions of collective self-defense. Could they realistically reach this conclusion fast enough to intercept the missile? And even if so, can Japan legally shoot down a missile unilaterally in the name of collective self-defense before any other country acts? Probably not.

To boost its deterrence capabilities, Japan should consider being even more proactive. It should, in fact, contemplate acquiring the capability to strike enemy territory with long-range strike capabilities. Under the notion that Japan should not simply wait around to die if an enemy were preparing to attack, the Ichiro Hatoyama administration argued in 1956 that having capabilities that could strike enemy missile sites was theoretically within the constitutional right of self-defense. This interpretation even applied to Japanese strikes against another country before a missile is launched at Japan. Subsequent administrations have adhered to this interpretation, meaning Japan can constitutionally possess long-range strike capability. As a matter of policy, however, its governments have not tried to acquire them. It may be time to move beyond the theoretical.

Assuming Japan needs long-range strike capabilities and plans to stay true to its commitment to self-defense, the government would need to clarify that the missiles would not be used preemptively. Yes, the technology is the same. So is the legal basis. The difference lies in the optics and reality of the situation. “Preemptive” looks offensive because it is extremely difficult to prove Japan is acting in “self-defense” when an attack on Japan has not yet occurred. The premise for initiating an attack also complicates the matter—being able to determine with absolute certainty that a launch is imminent, that the missile will strike Japan, and there are no other means to defend Japan. Easier said than done.

It would be politically difficult for Abe to acquire strike capabilities. He would be criticized for trampling on Japan’s pacifist constitution. The domestic opposition would likely argue that long-range missiles are “war potential” prohibited by the constitution. And countries such as China would probably complain that Abe is remilitarizing Japan.

But the government has a responsibility to protect the lives and property of its citizens. Facing a country like North Korea, which has threatened Japan’s very existence, leaders must do everything within their grasp to protect the country. If the existing BMD system has gaps, any means for Japan to strengthen its deterrence capabilities should be welcomed. The heightened threats from North Korea could be viewed as a call for new action.

For most of the past seven decades, Japanese political leaders could only improve security policies as fast as the pacifist public allowed. This worked during the Cold War when the technology of the Soviet Union did not change rapidly. After that era, Japan’s security policies continued to adapt to meet new challenges, albeit slowly. But North Korea’s swiftly advancing military capabilities have drastically changed the threat environment. Japan no longer has the luxury to be complacent about its security threats. It should consider making strike capabilities a top priority.

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MyDefence Announced Successful Integration of Its C-UAS Sensors in Vehicle Platforms

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MyDefence Announced Successful Integration of Its C-UAS Sensors in Vehicle Platforms
Photo credit: MyDefence

CARY, North Carolina, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com) – MyDefence Communication announced last week that the company had successfully integrated its Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) technology into the General Dynamics Land Systems Light Armoured Vehicle platform for the needs of military forces, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The CEO of MyDefence North America, Luke Layman, commented, “We are proud to announce the successful integration of our Counter UAS sensors into the General Dynamics Land Systems Light Armoured Vehicle platform. This is the first fully integrated Counter UAS solution available for mobile platforms with support for third-party battle management systems.”

Read more: A Portable Counter UAS Jammer Has Been Launched by MyDefence

Advanced, networked radio-frequency (RF) sensors have been developed by MyDefence and the company has worked closely with General Dynamics Land Systems in order to integrate these drone sensors into a wheeled armoured vehicle platform so that to provide on-the-move detect and defeat capability of drones for military operators. Now, thanks to the integrated drone sensors, military operators will be able to effectively detect and defeat hostile drones used either for reconnaissance or as weapon delivery systems.

MyDefence first began integration tests together with the General Dynamics Land Systems platform last year. The platform has evolved since then and the Counter Unmanned Aerial System solution as of the moment can be fully integrated into any vehicle platform and provide the flexibility and scalability needed for military operators.

Read more: General Dynamics Land Systems Will Upgrade 116 Stryker Vehicles of the US Army

The platform can detect drones through RF technology and defeat threats through smart jamming. The solution can be integrated with third-party battle-management systems (BMS), and through a standard tactical link, the mobile platform can communicate and provide feedback to any remote command and control (C2) system and thus ensure greater situational awareness and enhanced battlefield effectiveness.

About MyDefence

MyDefence is established by military officers. The company is specialized in developing sensors and effectors for military customers to counter the threat of hostile drones. It offers innovative and versatile Counter UAS solutions for any type of mission.

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Source: MyDefence

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JOBSS Delivered to Van Halteren Defence under the I-HCT Programme

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JOBSS Delivered to Van Halteren Defence under the I-HCT Programme
Photo credit: Defense Techno-Consult

BUNSCHOTEN, the Netherlands (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The Israeli Bagira Systems has delivered its Joint-fires BattleSpace Simulator (JOBSS) to Van Halteren Defence. This move is part of the Integrated-Howitzer Crew Trainer (I-HCT) programme of Van Halteren Defence for the Royal Thai Army, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

Under the mentioned above programme, JOBSS was integrated with a battery of 105mm HCT devices and with the operational C2 system of the Royal Thai Army.

Read more: The Royal Thai Navy Midget Submarine Programme Will Be Supported by BMT

The I-HCT of the Royal Thai Army features a virtual database of training areas and a battery of LG1, M101 and L119 105mm towed howitzers, which ensure training for practising the full fire support cycle: from the forward observer through the fire direction centre to the gun detachment.

Van Halteren has been engaged with the provision of HCTs since 1990 and the Royal Netherlands Army was its first customer. As of the moment, the company may make a boast of twelve international customers.

Read more: The Royal Thai Air Force Will Add Four New Airbus H225M Helicopters to Its Fleet

Bagira explained that the joint-fires virtual training system, JOBSS, was designed by the company for the Israeli Defence Forces where it started its service two years ago, in 2016. Two export customers have also purchased the system.

Van Haltern Defence’s HCTs perform trainings with high-fidelity simulated guns and ammunition. The system has an instructor operating station, training ammunition, which is developed so that to look exactly like live ammunition, and a fully simulated recoiling howitzer for simulation of the effects of firing.

Read more: Indra Will Equip the Royal Thai Air Force with Its Lanza 3D Radar

The I-HCT ensures an integrated live and virtual training environment through Digital Dust, which is the concept of Bagira for LVC training, which includes all the simulators into one environment, which is based on the B-One simulation engine of the company.

As reported by Bagira, “all trainee’s activities and procedures are recorded and registered in order to enable a complete and extensive after action review and to ensure mission readiness.”

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Source: Shephard Media

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Leonardo’s Technology Will Safeguard Liguria’s Regional Security

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Leonardo’s Technology Will Safeguard Liguria’s Regional Security
Photo credit: Leonardo

GENOA, Italy (BulgarianMilitary.com) – This week on Monday, 12th November 2018, Leonardo announced that the company and the Ligurian local authorities signed on the same day, in Genoa, a Memorandum of Understanding to develop projects and technological demonstrations for the preservation, safeguarding and security of the territorial ecosystem of the Italian region of Liguria, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

Read more: Leonardo Announced a €280 Million AW169M Contract with Guardia di Finanza

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti; Genoa’s Mayor, Marco Bucci; President of the Authority of the Port System of the Western Ligurian sea, Paolo Emilio Signorini and by Leonardo’s Chief Executive Officer, Alessandro Profumo.

Profumo commented, “With today’s agreement we renew our commitment to Liguria and Genoa. Leonardo will offer its expertise to the local authorities and start the first public-private partnership, to enhance security in the Liguria region that has always been a focal for Leonardo’s activities.”

Read more: Leonardo Unveiled Its BriteCloud 55-T for Military Transport Aircraft Protection 

The implementation of the signed Memorandum will be managed by a Steering Committee. It will set the strategic direction of the development of the programme so that to extend it to other private and institutional partners and, eventually, to support the promotion and development of its activities.

The commitment of Leonardo under the Memorandum is to make available to the authorities its experience to implement particular technological solutions in several fields, including territorial monitoring, security, mobility, traceability of goods, services to citizens, energy efficiency, including cyber security. The company will also be able to collaborate with other public and private entities, including outside the region, for promoting Liguria’s territory as an example of a centre of innovation and excellence.

Read more: Leonardo Offers and an Option for Newly Built Eurofighter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence

The Memorandum, which has been signed for 3 years and supports the United Nations 2030 Sustainability Agenda and specifically the main community directives on integrated security and risks prevention, will determine areas where to be developed territorial resilience projects and environmental monitoring. These projects will support the security of the region’s citizens by applying innovative technology and solutions.

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Source: Leonardo

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Pentagon to Reduce the Forces in Africa due to Changes in the Priorities

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Pentagon to Reduce the Forces in Africa due to Changes in the Priorities
Photo credit: Capt. Jonathan Daniell, U.S. Army Africa, Gako, Rwanda, 2nd Nov. 2018/Planners from U.S. Army Africa and the Botswana Defence Force achieved their first major milestone when they met last week in Gaborone, Botswana, to plan for the African Land Forces Summit in June 2019.

WASHINGTON, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The Pentagon will reduce the United States troops deployed in Africa due to changes in the priorities as reported by officials on 15th November 2018, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

More forces will be directed toward countering possible threats coming from Russia and China.

Read more: General: The USA Has No Defences Against the Weapons of Russia and China

As of the moment, the number of the U.S. military personnel situated in dozens of African nations reaches 7,200 with notable footprints in some places like Libya, Somalia and Nigeria.

Pentagon spokeswoman CDR Candice Tresch announced that number would be decreased by about 10% during the coming several years.

It was not specified by Tresch which countries would see a draw down, however he mentioned that the Pentagon would try not to lose capability in Africa, as well as that the efforts, in some cases, would be redirected mainly to training and advising local forces.

Tresch commented, “We will preserve a majority of our US security cooperation, partnerships and programmes in Africa that strengthen our partner networks and enhance partner capability and ongoing programmes. We will realign our counter-terrorism resources and forces operating in Africa over the next several years in order to maintain a competitive posture worldwide.”

That decision comes as a result of the work of the Pentagon on implementing President Donald Trump’s National Defense Strategy (NDS).

Read more: The U.S. Army Is to Update Its Air-and-Missile Defence Strategy

“Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities for the Department, and require both increased and sustained investment, because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security and prosperity today, and the potential for those threats to increase in the future. Concurrently, the Department will sustain its efforts to deter and counter rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran, defeat terrorist threats to the United States, and consolidate our gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach,” says the NDS.

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Source: Shephard Media, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America

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