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Japanese ground force marks launch of new electronic warfare unit

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Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force on Monday marked the creation of a new electronic warfare unit to handle sister corps scattered across the country that are boosting their capabilities in the electromagnetic spectrum.

The unit, made up of approximately 180 personnel nationwide, is tasked with detecting and analyzing communications and radar emissions from potential adversaries. He will also be responsible for disrupting enemy communications and radars when called upon.

Photo taken on March 27, 2022 shows the Ground Self-Defense Force’s state-of-the-art “networked electronic warfare system”, dubbed NEWS, in Okinawa Prefecture. (Kyodo)

A ceremony marking the unit’s launch was held Monday at the GSDF’s Camp Asaka, which straddles Tokyo and Saitama prefecture, where the unit’s headquarters are located.

“It is essential that the unit (as a whole) effectively inhibits the ability of our adversaries to maximize our capabilities,” Yasutaka Nakasone, Parliamentary Deputy Minister of Defense, said at the ceremony.

The unit’s headquarters was established on March 17 in response to the country’s urgent need to improve its capabilities in the electromagnetic field, as well as in space and cyberspace, in the face of China’s and China’s military buildup. Russia.

The unit will operate the ground force’s “networked electronic warfare system”, dubbed NEWS, which collects, analyzes and jams enemy radio waves in an integrated manner. It aims to establish informational superiority over potential adversaries.

“Capacity building in new areas is essential to achieve synergies in combination with conventional areas and to respond appropriately to situations,” said Colonel Hiromitsu Kadota, Unit Chief.

The Department of Defense views the electromagnetic spectrum, outer space, and cyberspace as critical to maintaining military balance among nations and enhancing the nation’s defense capabilities.

Since last year, the ministry has established electronic warfare units in garrisons across Japan, but mainly in Okinawa and the southwestern Kyushu region. Previously, there was only one unit on the northern main island of Japan, Hokkaido.

As an example of such a war, Russia launched electronic attacks during its 2014 invasion of Crimea to disrupt the communications of Ukrainian forces.

The Chinese military is increasingly integrating its conventional land, sea and air forces with space, cyber, electromagnetics and cognitive domains to enhance its joint operational capabilities, according to the National Institute for Defense Studies.


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