17.4.2020

Japan's potential requirement for swarming technology & loyal wingman

Four technologies Japan and the US should team on to counter China – link

Source: C4ISR

Article Headlines

  • The U.S. and Japan need to expand their collaboration on defense technologies in the future, with a specific focus on four technologies that can help counter the rise of China, according to a new report released Friday by the Atlantic Council
  • “The most important component of cooperation on defense capabilities is direct coordination and collaboration on emerging technologies and capabilities,” write authors Tate Nurkin and Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi, identifying unmanned systems, hypersonic/hyper-velocity missiles, and the defense applications of AI as three key areas where the U.S. and Japan need to start working together on
  • “These three areas are at the center of the intensifying U.S.-China military-technological competition. They are key to challenging or upholding military balances and stabilizing imbalances in and across key domain-area competitions — strike versus air and missile defense or undersea — on which regional and, over time, global security is at least partly based,” the authors note
  • Specifically, the authors identify four project areas that both fit into U.S. strategy and Japan’s regional interests, while also matching industrial capabilities:
  • Swarming technology and the loyal wingman: For several years the Pentagon has been investing R&D funding into the development of drones that can be slaved to a fighter jet, providing a “loyal wingman” controlled by the one pilot. Drone swarms are another area of heavy investment. Both concepts fit for Japan, whose Ministry of Defense expressed interest in both concepts going back as far as 2016
  • The other three project areas are:
  • Unmanned underwater vehicles and anti-submarine warfare capabilities
  • AI-enabled synthetic training environments
  • Counter-unmanned systems

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