A U.S. military Global Hawk surveillance drone is shown to the media at the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Kyodo
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U.S. military in Japan unveil Global Hawk surveillance drone

25 Comments

The U.S. military on Wednesday gave Japanese media their first look at a Global Hawk surveillance drone at the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo.

Five of the giant drones have been deployed to Yokota until October to avoid typhoons that often strike their home base of Guam during the summer.

The Global Hawk has a wingspan of 40 meters and is 15 meters long. It can fly at altitudes of 15,000 meters -- higher than manned aircraft, U.S. military officials said.

Although the U.S military gave few details on the drones’ mission, they are believed to be monitoring Chinese maritime activity in the region as well as North Korea’s nuclear and missile launch facilities, Fuji TV reported.

A U.S. military spokesman said the drones are used to collect data that will safeguard the interests of Japan and other U.S. allies in the region.

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25 Comments
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That is one big drone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yep, bigger than the predator which is also big.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Under Abe, Japan is steadly becoming a normal country.  To hold down irrational moves of the world, military power is indispensible.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

 To hold down irrational moves of the world, military power is indispensible.

Hence justifying the race to arm in the cold war? Superb logic!!

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Under Abe, Japan is steadly becoming a normal country.

What does a US military surveillance drone has anything to do with Japan changing into whatever is implied?

Japan has no control over those drones.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

if i look through your bathroom window while your daughter is taking bath and take a few snaps, is that OK? China should shoot these vulgar things down.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Under Abe, Japan is steadly becoming a normal country. To hold down irrational moves of the world, military power is indispensible.

Hurrah for normality! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I think its great. There are some parts of the world that require scrutiny. This does the job well and does it cheaply.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Wallace Fred

Hence justifying the race to arm in the cold war? Superb logic!!

One unarmed drone will hardly start an arms race. And military might is absolutely necessary to defend your country, no UN resolution or a treaty will defend you like a capable army, navy and air force.

@Triring

Japan has no control over those drones

Correct. And it is not good, Japan should make and deploy its own drones. "If you want to have something done right, do it yourself".

@Goodlucktoyou

China should shoot these vulgar things down

In international air space? It invites a declaration of war.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This drone is big enough to carry a nuclear head.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@asa there are 5 drones to be in Tokyo. there are also numerous others on US ships and bases in Japan. I'm not suggesting shooting any unmanned war machine in international airspace, but if it intrudes into Chinese airspace, it is an act of war. same as North Korea.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

or Japan could kick em out...

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

" Goodlucktoyou Today 10:40 am JST

, but if it intrudes into Chinese airspace, it is an act of war. same as North Korea."

So tell us when Japan intruded into Chinese airspace. How many times did China scramble fighters because Japanese aircraft intruded into their airspace? Now how many times has China intruded into Japanese airspace resulting in scrambles?  China is an obnoxious arrogant neighbor that needs to be watched.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The drone is pretty awesome looking.

It also looks like typical Air Force though, a hugely expensive and complex version that could have been done cheaper and more effective.

For example, championing the F-35 and trying to kill the A-10. One is costly and doesn't do any job especially well, the other is cheap and does one job extremely well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This drone is big enough to carry a nuclear head.

Big enough yes, able to no.

It's a drone with no weaponry on board or hardpoints to hook bombs since it's sole purpose is for surveillance.

@Goodlucktoyou

You can't shoot them down within ADIZ either since the concept of an ADIZ is not defined in any international treaty and is not regulated by any international body.

On the otherhand PLAAF planes files over or close by Senkaku regularly, is Japan allowed to shoot those planes down since Senkaku is Japan's sovereign territory?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Goodlucktoyou

there are 5 drones to be in Tokyo...but if it intrudes into Chinese airspace, it is an act of war

OK, there are five of them. It does not matter, the key word about these drones - unarmed. How an unarmed drone in international air space can threaten China? By the way, China does a lot of snooping around Japan ("looking through your bathroom window while your daughter is taking bath" by your poetic definition), so these drones are just a very measured response.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oh great,and i thought the drones that were dropping bombs on the middle east were the most terrifying thing i ever hear of

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Must be pretty dark inside there with no windows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Five of the giant drones have been deployed to Yokota until October to avoid typhoons that often strike their home base of Guam during the summer.

Really? To avoid typhoons they need to be deployed here until October?

These things can fly 12,000+ nautical miles and stay aloft for 34 hours according to the USAF specifications.

When I was in the USAF we moved our planes from Okinawa to other safe bases whenever a typhoon threatened to hit and flew back in a matter of days.

Sounds like a weak cover story.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When and if adapted for strike purposes, that will be one big, beautiful, soulless beast...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When and if adapted for strike purposes, that will be one big, beautiful, soulless beast...

Darkly poetic

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How long before China issues a formal protest? Shall we say 24 hours?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think the US is on the verge of bombing and destroying North Korea in June.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They should have more of these in Japan if Abe cannot get the parliament to pass bills to change the constitution and get more money to build them in the country. The US should put them in Mongolia, Taiwan, Vietnam and India too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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