Japan wants to develop its electronic warfare means

On the occasion of the presentation of the Japanese Defense budget for 2020 to parliament by the government of Shinzo Abe, a budget also increasing by 1,2% exceeding $50 billion, it appears that Tokyo is decided to put the emphasis on the development of electronic warfare systems, both for its land and air forces.

The first program, intended for the Japanese ground self-defense forces, is identified by the acronym NEWS, for Network Electronic Warfare System, and is based on a system for detecting, processing and jamming electronic and radar signals, mounted on a Toyota Type 73 off-road truck. The system is broken down into 4 subsystems, each specialized in its own frequency band. The NEWS program benefits from a credit line of $97 million in the 2020 budget. The Japanese land forces will also devote $35 million to design a jamming system specifically targeting radars deployed from aircraft. The second program, for the Japanese air forces, is allocated $55 million for the 2020 fiscal year. It will finance the modernization of the electronic warfare capabilities of the F15 C/DJ and the development of a new electronic warfare pod placed implemented by Kawasaki C-2 aircraft, transformed for the occasion into electronic warfare devices

If the development of electronic warfare systems is in itself an excellent initiative, we cannot help but note the limited resources devoted to it, well below those of Russia or China. Thus, the Chinese forces will soon perceive the first J-15D and J-16D, aircraft derived from the J-15 heavy multi-purpose embarked fighters which arm Chinese aircraft carriers, and their J-16 equivalents for the air forces. These two-seater aircraft are specialized in electronic warfare missions, like the US Navy's EA 18 G Growler. However, if the Japanese air forces will implement by 2030 more than a hundred F35As, devices designed to operate in a very dense electronic environment and having jamming capabilities that can ensure their self-defense, the rest of the fleet will still be made up of F15Js and F2s, the local version of the F16, which do not benefit from such abilities.

EA18G Growler Us Navy Defense News | Fighter aircraft | Awacs and electronic warfare
The EA 18G Growler is the only electronic warfare fighter in service with Western forces today

Like the Europeans, but also like the South Koreans, the Japanese therefore seem to base their needs in terms of electronic warfare capabilities on the support that the United States, and more specifically the US Navy, can provide, the only one to have a device like the Growler. Everyone forgets, with the exception of the Australians who took the precaution of having their own Growler, that the US Navy only uses 150 EA-18Gs, and that these aircraft are primarily intended to accompany the F/F flotillas. 18 embarked on US aircraft carriers. Western air forces would, in this respect, be well advised to carefully consider the ratio of one Growler for 6 Hornets/Super Hornets implemented by the US Navy…

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