A few curated defense and security links to get you ready for the weekend:
On Thursday, the Japanese government announced that it will begin jointly developing missile technology for fighters with the United Kingdom. It will also begin exporting Japan-made components for U.S. surface-to-air missile systems (specifically the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 missile defense system). The announcements come not long after Japan’s controversial reinterpretation of its constitution, allowing it to engage in collective self-defense. Japan has had a self-imposed ban on exporting weapons since 1967 that was only recently lifted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We believe that we can create more sophisticated products by bringing together the finest technologies from both Britain and Japan,” a Japanese Ministry of Defense official told reporters.
For the first time ever, the People’s Liberation Army will join the U.S. and Australian armed forces in an infantry-focused ground exercise. According to Defense News, the “joint exercise will take place in northern Australia and marks another step forward in efforts by Washington and Canberra to bolster relations with China’s People’s Liberation Army.” Despite tensions between the U.S. and China, the two countries continue to enjoy military-to-military contact via exercises and consultations. This year also marks the first time that the Chinese navy participated in the RIMPAC naval exercise. China has previously criticized Washington’s decision to increase the number of marines stationed in Darwin, Australia, arguing that it represents an attempt at containment.
Over at the U.S. Naval Institute’s blog, Dave Majumdar and Sam LaGrone examine the maritime role of the latest unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) concept. The UCLASS stands to redefine the United States’ ability to flexibly monitor the worlds’ oceans: “The missions now in mind for UCLASS now include permissive airspace ISR and strike initially to start with … As the program evolves, those missions would expand to more challenging contested littoral and coastal ISR and strike, to attacking an enemy surface action groups (SAG).”
According to reports from last week, Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), the country’s state-owned ordnance producer, may see some major reforms in the future. The government intends to transform POF into a more self-sustainable enterprise, according to one report.
Also, on this week’s podcast, Zach and I discuss the brewing crisis in Eastern Ukraine over Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. We discuss the specifics of the Ukrainian separatists’ anti-air capabilities, including the BUK missile system that was allegedly used to shoot down the passenger jet. Meanwhile, Wired takes a look at why international civil aviation continued over Eastern Ukraine until Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down.