Northrop and Mitsubishi partner to enhance Japan’s air and missile defence network
Northrop Grumman and Mitsubishi Electric have opted to cooperate on networking Japan’s ground-based air defence systems.
The joint team will explore the integration of proprietary solutions to streamline the sharing of target information across the country’s ground-based systems.
The cooperation will aim to allow the air defence systems used by the Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces (JGSDF) to share target information. JDSDF uses a mixture of homegrown systems such as Type 11, Type 03 Chu-SAM and US-made systems including MIM-104 Patriot. By extension, the joint project could potentially lead to improvements in interoperability with systems deployed by the US such as THAAD.
The resurfacing missile threat from North Korea and Japan’s decision to increase activity in the defence sector were likely stimuli for a refinement in Japan’s ground-based air defence capabilities.
Among potential platforms to be delivered will be the Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS), which has simultaneously been developed and fielded for the US Army, and combines control over legacy and advanced tactical assets.
In 2017, Japan approved the instalment of AEGIS Ashore to acquire ground-based ballistic missile defence capability. AEGIS Ashore is the ground-based version of the AEGIS combat system used on US Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force destroyers.
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