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Japan launches first military comms satellite

26th January 2017 - 16:12 GMT | by Koji Miyake in Tokyo

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An H-IIA rocket carrying the Kirameki-2 X-band satellite was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre on 24 January. It is the Japan Self-Defence Force’s (JSDF) first dedicated communications satellite.

Possessing an expected lifespan of 15 years, the Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) will begin operating the satellite after performance testing. The satellite on a geosynchronous orbit above the Indian Ocean will provide the JSDF with high-bandwidth communications to troops despatched overseas.

Currently the JSDF finds it challenging to transmit large quantities of data to troops on peacekeeping missions in places like Djibouti and South Sudan. With this satellite, the JSDF

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Koji Miyake

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Koji Miyake


Koji Miyake is a Tokyo-based writer.

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