The Nikkei Asian Review reported on 29 June that the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGDSF) will active a new electronic warfare unit near the city of Kumamoto, on the southwestern island of Kyushu.
The report says that the new unit will be based in Kumamoto and will form part of the JGSDF’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB’s), headquartered at Camp Ainoura, Nagasaki, also on Kyushu. Its activation could provide the ARDB with an EW unit supporting its manoeuvre force.
No details of the equipment to be employed by the unit were mentioned. However, it is possible that the JGDSF’s new Mitsubishi Electric NEWS Type-1 vehicle-mounted Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) system could form part of the inventory.
Mitsubishi Electric NEWS Type-1
Believed to cover a 30 megahertz to 300 gigahertz waveband the NEWS Type-1 may collect communications and electronic intelligence. It is known to be in service with the JGDSF’s 1st EW Unit, The 1st EW Unit is an independent formation containing three EW companies headquartered at Higashi Chitose on the western side of the northern island of Hokkaido. It provides electronic warfare support to the JGSDF’s Northern Army. From July NEWS Type-1 units will be delivered to the JGSDF’s Signal School outside Tokyo.
The activation of the new EW unit with the ARDB underscores the JGSDF’s ongoing modernisation of its electronic warfare assets and posture. Further details on Japan’s signals intelligence capabilities can be found in the forthcoming ‘Japan’s SIGINT Challenge’ article in the June-August 2020 edition of the Asian Military Review.