Lockheed Martin’s LRDR Selected for Japanese AEGIS Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense Sites

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Aegis Ashore installation. Source: Lockheed Martin

On July 30, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced that it had decided to procure Lockheed Martin’s radar over rival Raytheon’s to equip two AEGIS Ashore installations. AEGIS Ashore is a U.S. military technology for land-based ballistic missile defense and early warning derived from a long-standing naval AEGIS program. Continue reading

Japan’s Pursuit of New-Generation Stealth Fighter Confronts Hurdles

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries F-2 Fighter

Japan’s Ministry of Defense is facing a dilemma in its quest to develop an indigenous stealth combat aircraft that would replace the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) fleet of F-2 fighters starting around 2030. Continue reading

Japan Upgrades Its E-767 AWACS

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Japanese AWACS. Source Japanese Air Self Defense Force

Boeing was recently awarded a $60.9 million hybrid (fixed-price-incentive-firm, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-plus-incentive-fee) contract to perform the mission computing upgrade installation and checkout on four Japanese E-767 aircraft and associated ground systems. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2022. Continue reading

Japan Opts for More Small Ships – and a Faster Build Rate

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Faced with a growing People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) naval capacity and maritime presence in waters of the East China Sea, Japan’s government plans to accelerate, alter and expand a warship building project. Rather than continuing with a build rate of one new 5,000-ton destroyer per year, a decision was reached to shift to construction of two smaller 3,000-ton destroyers per year beginning with the launch of the fiscal year in April 2018. This will allow for an expansion of the class from four to eight ships, thus providing the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) with greater fleet capacity with which to counter the growing naval arm of the PLAN. Continue reading

KHI Expands Operations to Tap Into Backlog at Boeing and Airbus, Opens Line in U.S.

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing 777X. Source - Boeing

Boeing 777X. Source – Boeing

With demand for commercial aerospace components booming, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is adding another two factory lines to its operations.  These lines will focus on component production for Boeing’s 777X. Interestingly, one of these assembly lines will be located in the United States at a Kawasaki facility in Nebraska, marking the company’s first aerospace operation in the states. Continue reading

A Milestone for Japan Could Mean Profits in France

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft. Source - ShinMaywa Industries.

ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft.    Source – ShinMaywa Industries.

With Japan entering the global defense trade, a French electronics company looks like it could reap some benefits. It all hinges, though, on which equipment the deal specifies and if the deal is even executed.

During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s December 12 visit to India, an agreement was reportedly reached. India would purchase 12 ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft to fulfill a maritime search-and-rescue requirement. If executed, the agreement would see at least two of the planes produced in Japan, with the other 10 being produced by a yet-to-be-decided Indian partner. Continue reading

With Security Bills Passed, Abe Government Faces Backlash

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Japan FlagFollowing final approval on September 19 of landscape-altering security legislation by the upper house of Japan’s parliament, the National Diet, the conservative government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing a sharp backlash, both at home and abroad. Considering the magnitude of the legislation as it relates to both Japan and its neighbors – many of which retain memories of attack and invasion by Imperial Japan in the first half of the 20th century – the reaction had long been expected. Continue reading

Japan’s Defense Ministry Plans Record Budget Request

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Japan FlagWith formulations being conducted for Japan’s fiscal year 2016 government budget, the country’s Defense Ministry is contemplating whether to request a record-high slice of the expenditure pie. Having secured three consecutive year-on-year nominal budgetary boosts since the return to power of conservative Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party in December 2012, it is quite clear that the area of defense is a priority for the government. Continue reading

Japan’s Lower House Passes Defense Bills Amidst Protest, Shifting Regional Security Environment

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Japan FlagTwo security bills that passed in the lower house of Japan’s legislature, the National Diet, on July 16 elicited a strong public reaction. The bills involve the reinterpretation and revision of existing laws while expanding the range of allowable activities for the nation’s military, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

For a nation steeped in pacifism following its defeat and post-conflict occupation in World War II, any loosening of the constraints imposed on Japan’s military under Article 9 of its U.S.-influenced Constitution provokes alarm in large segments of the population. This was indeed the case when the security bills – championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – were approved by the Lower House’s Special Committee on Security Legislation on July 15, thus enabling them to be put to a vote in the lower chamber dominated by Abe’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The move created an uproar sparking large demonstrations by up to 100,000 protestors outside the Diet building and prompted the major opposition parties in the legislature to walk out in protest. Continue reading