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Japan launches 2nd defense satellite

  • April 6, 2018
  • , Kyodo News , 1:12 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — The Defense Ministry said Friday it had launched a second communications satellite to improve the capabilities of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces in dealing with security challenges.


A rocket carrying the Kirameki-1 lifted off at 6:34 a.m. Japan time from a launch site in French Guiana in South America, with the satellite confirmed to have successfully separated from the rocket, the ministry said.


The Kirameki-1 will begin full operation around July following performance tests in a geostationary orbit. It will work with the Kirameki-2, which was launched in January 2017 and started operation in April that year, the ministry said.


The ministry plans to operate three satellites, with the launch of the third scheduled for fiscal 2022.


The new satellites will facilitate direct communications among units of the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces through a high-speed, high-capacity network, serving as a communications infrastructure to counter the North Korean missile threat and defend remote islands, according to ministry officials.


The launch of the Kirameki-1 was originally scheduled for July 2016 but delayed after it was damaged in transit.

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