Japan May Acquire Global Hawk Aircraft

5 October 2010 (Last Updated October 5th, 2010 18:30)

The Japanese Defence Ministry is considering acquiring three Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft from the US to enhance its air surveillance capabilities. Japan's move is seen as a measure to deal with China's increasing militarisation and North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile pro

The Japanese Defence Ministry is considering acquiring three Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft from the US to enhance its air surveillance capabilities.

Japan’s move is seen as a measure to deal with China’s increasing militarisation and North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

The ministry plans to buy the unmanned high-altitude aircraft as part of its new mid-term defence programme for 2011-2015.

The Global Hawk can fly at an altitude of 18,000m and is equipped with sophisticated cameras and highly sensitive communications-receiving abilities.

The aircraft can gather data and simultaneously send it to command facilities on the ground.

The Global Hawk costs 4.15bn yen ($50m) including equipment, so the sum for three aircraft will in excess of 12bn yen ($144m), according to the Japan Times.