really, South Korean and China is the largest shipbuilder in Asia if not the world, either it is Civilian Ships or Military. Since the early 2000 Japan has lost their number 1 or number 2 ranking places to both of them.
July 17/14: Weapons.In the wake of recent changes that allow Japan to export some defense items to certain customers, and engage in multinational collaborations with allied countries, Japan is becoming involved with MBDA’s Meteor long-range air-to-air missile:
“Separately, the government also gave a green light to Japan’s joint research with Britain using Japanese seeker technology. It’s a simulation-based project linked to a Meteor missile development among European countries. Defense Ministry official Toru Hotchi said Japanese officials are hoping the research can lead to a technology that can be used for F-35 stealth fighter jets that Japan plans to purchase for its Air Self-Defense Forces.”
Meteor is about to enter service on the JAS-39C/D Gripen, with Eurofighter and Rafale qualification to follow by 2018. MBDA has previously stated that they plan to field a variant for internal carriage in the F-35, and have taken some design-related steps, but there’s no definite program or timeframe yet. Could interest be picking up?
Feb 4/14: Bottakuri.Costs continue to rise for Japan, and F-35Js could end up costing YEN 300 billion each. Meanwhile, Japan’s new 5-year Mid-Term Defense Plan will buy just 28 F-35s by 2018, of a 42 plane order that would see 38 assembled in Japan under a final assembly and checkout deal. At that rate, they won’t make the target of completed deployment by 2021 without a high 2019 order surge. Meanwhile, prices have already climbed from the original YEN 9.6 – 9.9 billion agreement to YEN 14.95 billion each for 2 jets in FY 2013, and YEN 15.4 billion each for 4 more in FY 2014.
“Added to this are plant and tooling up costs of [YEN] 83 billion for 2013 and [YEN] 42.4 billion for 2014 as Japanese companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric and IHI establish assembly and production lines…. Sources here have privately begun to refer to the F-35 deal as a “bottakuri bar,” referring to establishments that lure customers… and force them to pay exorbitant bills through a range of excess charges for items not mentioned explicitly on the menu….. locally produced versions of US kit generally cost double their US prices…. Kiyotani said the F-35′s costs could climb to more than [YEN] 300 billion a fighter.”
Abe’s decision to print money at astronomical rates (q.v. Aug 22/13) is going to worsen this problem by dropping the exchange rate. The Yen has lost 28% of its value vs. the US dollar since June 29/12. Defense analyst Shinichi Kiyotani is quoted as saying that lack of specifics in Japan’s 10-year plan reflects uncertainty over the country’s ability to afford the F-35, and its 200 F-15Js and 90 or so F-2s will eventually need replacement. What to do? Sources: Defense News, “Future of F-35 Unclear as Costs Mount in Japan”.
Japanese Ship JS Samidarewas conducting merchant vessel escort duties through the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden when the MV Nave Antropos issued a distress call to the UK Maritime Trade Operation (UKMTO) reporting to be under attack. The JS Samidare eradicated the threat(s) and escorted the MV Nave Antropos to safety.
The Defense Ministry plans to order two more Aegis destroyers capable of intercepting ballistic missiles in view of the continuing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea, government sources said Tuesday.
The ministry will soon start negotiations with the Finance Ministry on the plan to bring the number of Aegis destroyers operated by the Maritime Self-Defense Force to eight.
The Defense Ministry intends to include the plan in new defense guidelines that spell out Japan’s security policies for the coming decade. The government will draw up the guidelines by the end of the year.
The ministry plans to put the two new vessels into commission during the decade covered by the new guidelines.
Four of the MSDF’s six Aegis destroyers are currently equipped with the missile defense system that can shoot down ballistic missiles in space. The other two are being fitted with the system.
At least two are needed to cover the entire Japanese archipelago with the ballistic missile defense system, though more provide better protection. However, at least one is always in port for required maintenance.
To deal with a long-range ballistic missile threat from North Korea last December, the MSDF deployed two Aegis destroyers in the East China Sea and one in the Sea of Japan.
In the spring, two were deployed in the Sea of Japan to brace for the launch of North Korea’s Musudan medium-range missiles as the other two were undergoing maintenance. As the threat continued, some critics pointed out the inadequacy of the missile defense structure.
I will be updating this with pictures in the coming days.
Exercise Malabar is a complex, high-end operational exercise that has grown in scope and complexity over the years. Malabar 2014 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises conducted to enhance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues.
The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training. Whilst ashore at Port Sasebo, Japan from 24 to 26 Jul, the interactions will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on Carrier Strike Group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, anti piracy operations and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations.
Three ships of Indian Navy viz. INS Ranvijay (guided missile destroyer), INS Shivalik (stealth frigate) and INS Shakti (fleet tanker) have already entered Port Sasebo, Japan on 23 Jul 14 for participating in the exercise.
The sea phase of the exercise is scheduled from 27 to 30 Jul 14 and will be conducted in the Western Pacific Ocean. Exercises planned during this phase include search and rescue exercises, helicopter cross-deck landings, underway replenishments, gunnery and anti-submarine warfare exercises, Visit, Board, Search and Seize operations (VBSS) and Liaison officer exchange and embarkation. Designed to enhance maritime cooperation among the navies of the participating nations, these exercises further hone individual capacity to conduct operations in a multi-national environment.
The Indian, Japanese and U.S. navies have a common understanding and knowledge of a shared working environment at sea. This exercise would further help advance the level of understanding among the navies.
Two destroyers along with a P3C Orion and a sea-plane (US-2) are participating from the Japanese Navy. From the US Navy one submarine (SSN), two destroyers, one tanker along with one MR aircraft would be participating. One US Carrier Strike group (CSG) is likely to join for the sea phase of the exercise.