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SECURITY > Self-Defense Forces

Doubt emerges over Japan’s plan to deploy “outdated” UAVs

  • August 29, 2021
  • , Asahi
  • JMH Summary

Sunday’s Asahi reported on the SDF’s plan to procure and deploy three Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft beginning as early as this fiscal year, noting that some Defense Ministry officials have voiced skepticism about the plan since the USAF has decided to mothball the same model on account of its “lack of capabilities for dealing with Chinese threats.” The U.S. military is still set to continue using the upgraded Block 40 model. The SDF plans to operate the three drones for reconnaissance over the next 20 years, earmarking some 12 billion yen ($110 million) each year for operational costs. Skeptics are reportedly worried that the operational and maintenance costs will rise further since the U.S. side may not be able to provide equipment for maintenance at reasonable prices after its Block 30 model is completely retired.

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