Japan May Shoot Down Chinese Drones

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Japan May Shoot Down Chinese Drones

Plus, do drones and unmanned capabilities make conflict more likely? Friday defense links.

Some Friday defense links:

Japan’s Defense Ministry is studying a plan for shooting down drones that invade its airspace, according to a report by NHK World. The report comes days after Tokyo reported that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flew near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. China later confirmed the UAV belonged to its military.

On a related note, Shawn Brimley, Ben Fitzgerald and Ely Ratner, all of the Center for a New American Security, write that the Chinese drone signifies the emergence of UAVs in Asia, which will make conflict in the region more likely. As they put it, “The introduction of indigenous drones into Asia's strategic environment — now made official by China's maiden unmanned provocation — will bring with it additional sources of instability and escalation to the fiercely contested South and East China Seas.”

Over at Real Clear Defense, James Brown (real name, we assume) profiles David Johnston, who’s expected to be named as Australia’s next Defense Minister. Brown writes that “Johnston’s first priority in office will be to fix Australia’s navy.”

Ria Novosti reports that a second missile cruiser may be joining Russia’s newly established Mediterranean Fleet. The ship would be the Varyag missile cruiser, which currently serves as the flagship of Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

The U.S. Air Force now sees speed as key to beating Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) strategies, according to The Air Force Times.

Following India’s Agni-V missile test last week, the U.S. is concerned that an arms race might be developing between China and India. The Hindustan Times has the story.

The Dutch Defense Ministry announced earlier this week that it had selected the F-35 fighter jets to replace its aging fleet of F-16s. However, it will only purchase 37 instead of the initially planned 85 aircraft.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) still thinks the Joint Strike Fighter program is “one of the great national scandals,” according to DOD Buzz.