Japan looks at acquiring Electronic Warfare and SEAD capability

A Boeing E/A-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft operated by the US Navy. 

Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) is exploring the development of Electronic Warfare (EW) capability, by looking at multiple options including the use of of Electronic Warfare-equipped fighter jets, and the use of specially equipped Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Transport aircraft with powerful jamming equipment.

Among those platforms being eyed are the Boeing E/A-18G Growler, which was tested by the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) early last year, as well as installing electronic warfare and jamming equipment to Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft, as well as on Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

The proposals will be included in Japan's Mid-Term Defense Plan (MTDP) that covers fiscal years 2019 to 2023.

The use of electronic warfare capability would allow Japan to improve its Area Access / Area Denial (A2/AD) defense capability, and if necessary, use it for offensive purposes including jamming and Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD), radars and command systems. This means touching on sensitive concerns on the blurry lines of defensive and offensive capabilities.

Although no specific mention was made, analysts believe the plan for such capability was to counter the growing threat from China and North Korea, as well as resurgence of threats from Russia.

Currently, Japan does not possess SEAD capability that can be used for kinetic or electronic attacks on radars and air defense assets. Should Japan acquire SEAD capability, it will join a handful of nations with such capability. 

[1] IHS Jane's
[2] Nikkei Asian Review
[3] Monch Publishing Group

[4] DefenseWorld.net

Japan looks at acquiring Electronic Warfare and SEAD capability Japan looks at acquiring Electronic Warfare and SEAD capability Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on January 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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