Japan launches first X-band defence communication satellite
Japan has reportedly launched its first military communications satellite, Kirameki-2, in an effort to modernise the Self Defence Forces' communication network.
The X-band satellite was successfully launched from a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' H-IIA rocket at the Tanegashima Space Center on 24 January.
The new satellite is anticipated to support the Japanese military by boosting its emergency response capabilities, according to media sources.
Japanese defence official was quoted by The Associated Press as saying: "We'll be able to exchange a large amount of data more quickly.
"We currently share information with voice and by fax.”
The Kirameki-2 is one of three three satellites that are intended to replace three civilian ones currently in service with Japan's military, AFP reported.
It will establish communication between military units on a high-speed and high-capacity network.
According to the defence ministry, the total cost associated with the three defence communications satellites amounts to $2.48bn.
The Kirameki-1 was originally planned to be launched last year. However, the launch has been delayed until March 2018 after the satellite suffered damages during transport to a launch site in French Guiana.