More EW Units for Japan’s Army

Japan plans to deploy a new EW unit to equip its Western Army to provide coverage in Okinawa Prefecture.

Japanese media have reported that the country’s Ground Self-Defence Force will soon activate a new electronic warfare unit.

Reports stated that the JGSDF (Japan Ground Self-Defence Force) will activate the new unit to protest Okinawa Prefecture in the far south of Japan’s archipelago. This is expected to be deployed with the JGSDF’s Western Army. The Western Army includes the 4th, 8th and 15th Divisions. It is headquartered at Camp Kengun, Kumamoto Prefecture on Kyushu Island in the southwest of the archipelago. The EW unit maybe deployed as an independent formation to provide electronic warfare assistance to the constitute divisions of the Western Army as and when required.

Other Formations

News of the unit’s activation follows revelations in late June that the JGSDF’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade has activated an organic EW unit. This was preceded by the ground self-defence force’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.

While no specific details have been revealed, all three formations should be activated by 2025 at the latest. They are strongly expected to employ the Mitsubishi Electric NEWS Type-1 vehicle-mounted signals intelligence system. Believed to cover a 30 megahertz to 300 gigahertz waveband the NEWS Type-1 may collect both communications and electronic intelligence. This July, NEWS Type-1 units were delivered to the JGSDF’s Signal School outside Tokyo.

by Dr. Thomas Withington