Japan Plans to Buy Global Hawks

The Japanese defense ministry expressed its intent to purchase RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft under a foreign military sales deal in the ministry’s upcoming budget request, reported Stars and Stripes. Japan is looking to purchase three RQ-4s and potentially operate them in tandem with Air Force Global Hawks from Misawa AB, Japan, states the newspaper’s Nov. 24 report. Air Force Global Hawks rotated to Misawa from Andersen AFB, Guam, for five months this summer and service officials have said they plan to continue regular deployments to Japan for foreseeable future. Air Force Global Hawks were instrumental in responding to Japan’s 2011 tsunami and floods, providing essential imagery of damage to the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Japan also plans to request V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye AWACS platforms as part of its Fiscal 2015 budget, reported IHS Jane’s. (See also Osprey’s Appeal Grows.)