Back to news

November 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

David J. Bercuson: Why Japan is building its military, fast

David J. Bercuson

With 18 diesel electric submarines, four so-called “helicopter destroyers” that look suspiciously like small aircraft carriers, 43 destroyers and destroyer escorts, 25 minesweepers and training ships, fleet oilers, submarine rescue ships and other vessels, Japan's navy — the Maritime Self-Defense Force — is the second largest in Asia and one of the largest in the world. It is also highly advanced technologically and is growing all the time. The two 27,000 ton Izumo-class helicopter destroyers, the largest in the fleet, with flat flight decks and islands on the starboard side of the vessels, are small compared to the United States Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carriers (approximately 100,000 tons) or Britain's new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers (65,000 tons). But if equipped with the new short-take-off-and-vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighter they will still pack a powerful punch. And Japan is considering adding more of these aircraft carriers to its fleet and advanced U.S.-style Aegis class destroyers, capable of shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles.

The irony in all of this is that Japan's post Second World War constitution still contains a provision — Article 9 — that prohibits it from possessing any offensive military capability. In the early 1950s, Japan began to build its self-defence forces and now has a powerful navy, a modern medium-sized air force that will soon fly the F-35 along with specially built F-15s, alongside more than 300 fighter aircraft and 50,000 personnel, and a growing land army and marine sea landing capability.

Are these military assets “defensive” in nature?

Partly, but aircraft carriers, high-speed destroyers, modern fighter aircraft and assault ships are surely as offensive as they are defensive. And Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made it plain that in less than two years, he intends to seek to change the Japanese constitution to drastically curtail any obligation Japan has to maintain a purely defensive capability. In other words, he will ask the Japanese people and legislature to bless what Japan has already done.

That could be more problematic than people realize.

Like Germany, Japan suffered greatly in the Second World War. Virtually all its great cities were levelled either with atomic bombs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) or fire raids that were carried out by giant B-29 bombers at low altitude at night. The attacks burned the heart out of Japan's cities. In March 1945, 100,000 people were killed in one night in a fire raid on Tokyo and many acres of the city were burned to the ground. Submarine blockades of Japan drastically curtailed food and fuel supplies. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers were killed either in the United States' march across the Pacific or in the Russian invasion of Manchuria near the end of the war. Japan was a prostrate nation by the end of 1945 and its ancient system of government was a shambles.

Full article: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/david-j-bercuson-why-japan-is-building-its-military-fast

On the same subject

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - April 25, 2019

    April 26, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - April 25, 2019

    AIR FORCE The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $2,038,147,146 modification (P00020) to previously awarded contract FA8702-15-D-0001 for the operation of the Lincoln Laboratory Federally Funded Research and Development Center. This modification provides for advanced technology research and development activities that focus on long-term technology development as well as rapid system prototyping and demonstration. Work will be performed in Lexington, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2020. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $9,600,000,000, and no funds are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity. General Dynamics Missions Systems, Scottsdale, Arizona, has been awarded a $20,241,853 requirements contract for Identification Friend or Foe KIV-78 Mode 4/5 Cryptographic Applique production. The contract provides for KIV-78 units, Delorean Circuit Card Assemblies, data and technical support for United States and foreign military sales requirements. Work will be performed in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is expected to be complete by April 24, 2023. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division, Joint-Base San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA8307-19-D-0004). ARMY Lockheed Martin, Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $723,550,174 modification (P00011) to domestic and Foreign Military Sales (Lebanon, Netherlands and France) contract W31P4Q-18-C-0130 to procure a variety of HELLFIRE II missile variants. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2022. Fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $723,550,174 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. Korte Construction Co., St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a $31,295,038 firm-fixed-price contract to design and build an Integrated Training Center Academics Building at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in Okaloosa, Florida, with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2021. Fiscal 2016 and 2019 military construction funds in the amount of $31,295,038 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W91278-19-C-0013). Gentex Corp., Simpson, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $27,860,817 firm-fixed-price contract for the Head Gear Unit 56/P Rotary Wing Helmet. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 25, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-19-D-0070). Yorktown Systems Group Inc.,* Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $23,650,768 modification (P00025) to contract W911S0-17-C-0007 for Asymmetric Warfare Group operations support services. Work will be performed in Fort Meade, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of May 14, 2021. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $18,800,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity. NAVY British Aerospace Engineering Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Inc., Rockville, Maryland (N00421-19-D-0045); Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., McLean, Virginia (N00421-19-D-0048); Coherent Technical Services, Inc., Lexington Park, Maryland (N00421-19-D-0049); Engility Corp., Andover, Maine (N00421-19-D-0050); Gryphon Technologies, LC., Washington, District of Columbia (N00421-19-D-0051); J.F. Taylor, Inc., Lexington Park, Maryland (N00421-19-D-0052) and Valkyrie Enterprises, Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia (N00421-19-D-0053) are each awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, multi-award indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to provide engineering support services for Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems as well as developmental programs such as the Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems (JPALS) and unmanned programs for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and other Department of Defense activities. The estimated aggregate ceiling for all contracts is $98,625,565 with the companies having an opportunity to compete for individual orders. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland, and various awardee and customer sites to be determined on individual orders and is expected to be completed in April 2024. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. These contracts were competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals, seven offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded $90,773,387 for fixed-price-incentive-fee modification P00014 to a previously awarded contract (N0001918C1048). This modification will stand up organic depot repair capabilities for the F-35 integrated core processor. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas (39.1 percent); Owego, New York (32.7 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (14.5 percent); Camden, New Jersey (5.9 percent); Clearwater, Florida (5 percent) and Melbourne, Florida (2.8 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2022. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy) funds in the amount of $90,773,387 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force ($45,386,693; 50 percent), U.S. Marine Corps ($22,693,347; 25 percent) and the U.S. Navy ($22,693,347; 25 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded an $89,011,500 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity task order contract for the technical and engineering services to integrate various external stores and alternative mission equipment onto the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri (40 percent), Patuxent River, Maryland (40 percent); Tullahoma, Tennessee (8 percent); Mountain View, California (8 percent); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2 percent); and Buffalo, New York (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2022. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $482,841 will be obligated at time of award; none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0001919D0021). Amethyst Builders, LLC*, Ewa Beach, Hawaii (N62478-19-D-4029); Concept 2 Completion, LLC*, Kailua, Hawaii (N62478-19-D-4030); D&D Construction, Inc.*, Waipahu, Hawaii (N62478-19-D-4031); and MEI Corp.*, Hauula, Hawaii (N62478-19-D-4032), are each awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award design-bid-build construction contracts for construction projects located primarily within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii area of responsibility (AOR). The maximum dollar value including the base period and four option years for all four contracts combined is $48,000,000. The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, new construction, addition, alteration, maintenance, and repair work by design-bid-build for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and various Federal Agencies located in the State of Hawaii. These four contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. No task orders are being issued at this time. All work on the contract will be performed within the NAVFAC Hawaii AOR. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of April 2024. Fiscal 2019 Navy working capital funds in the amount of $20,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by operation and maintenance (Navy). This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 20 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Harris Corp., Roanoke, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $50,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production of Image Intensifying tubes in support of the AN/AVS-6 and AN/AVS-9 Aviator's Night Vision Imaging System (ANVIS). This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a five-year base contract with one five-year option period. Location of performance is Virginia, with an April 24, 2024, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (SPRBL1-19-D-0029). Seiler Instrument & Manufacturing Co., Inc.,* St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a maximum $11,902,218 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for telescope and quadrant mounts. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Missouri, with a March 25, 2024, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-19-D-0083). *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1824510/source/GovDelivery/

  • BAE Systems wins $30M in naval IT contracts

    November 13, 2020 | International, Naval

    BAE Systems wins $30M in naval IT contracts

    Andrew Eversden WASHINGTON — BAE Systems was awarded two task order contracts to provide and integrate an information warfare platform aboard five U.S. Navy vessels, the company announced Nov. 11. Under the two task orders, worth more than $30 million, BAE will integrate the platforms into the Navy's Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services — the Navy's tactical afloat network. "These two task orders permit us to continue our high-quality, high volume production and integration service, assembling and delivering CANES to the Navy safely and affordably,” Mark Keeler, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems' Integrated Defense Solutions business, said in a statement. “CANES takes advantage of commercial-off-the-shelf insertion, which brings operational agility to the warfighter and savings to the U.S. Navy.” Under the first task order, BAE will produce two fully integrated CANES racks for two Blue Ridge-class command ships, according to the release. That work is expected to be completed by February 2022. The company will provide the same services for two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a Virginia-class submarine under the second task order, expected to be completed by March 2022. Work will be performed at the BAE Systems facility in Summerville, South Carolina. Naval Information Warfare Systems Command in San Diego, California, awarded the contracts. BAE Systems also announced earlier this week that it won a five-year, $94 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to deliver engineering, test and evaluation support for sensors, in addition to communication, control, and weapons systems for manned and unmanned air platforms. The contract was awarded by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. "We are bringing new advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomy to the Airborne Systems Integration Division,” Keeler said in a news release. “Our state-of-the-art digital engineering capabilities, and extensive experience in integrating airborne systems are further strengthening the warfighter's ability to meet mission requirements and ensuring combat readiness in the field.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/it-networks/2020/11/12/bae-systems-wins-several-naval-it-contracts/

  • Swiss, French procurement chiefs meet amid high-stakes ‘Air 2030’ race

    October 21, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Swiss, French procurement chiefs meet amid high-stakes ‘Air 2030’ race

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — French procurement chief Joël Barre met with his Swiss counterpart Martin Sonderegger this week for bilateral talks on a multibillion-dollar Swiss air-defense program and other defense topics. The Oct. 15 gathering in Switzerland was the first high-level meeting between the two procurement organizations since Barre took office in August 2017. It follows France's recent acquisition of an initial batch of PC-21 trainer aircraft, made by Swiss manufacturer Pilatus Flugzeugwerke. The visit comes as French companies Dassault and MBDA each await the fate of their offerings in the upcoming Swiss “Air 2030” program, valued at more than $8 billion. The effort amounts to a complete revamping of the neutral country's air-defense and air-policing capabilities, with roughly $6 billion envisioned for a new fleet of fighter aircraft and $2 billion for ground-based defenses. The Swiss government over the summer invited bids from Dassault for its Rafale jets, and from MBDA and its parent joint venture Eurosam for the SAMP/T air-defense weapon. Also in the running for the aircraft portion are Airbus and its Eurofigher Typhoon, Saab and its Gripen E, Boeing with its F/A-18 Super Hornet, and Lockheed Martin with its F-35A. Vendors were asked to submit pricing options for a fleet of 30 or 40 aircraft. In the ground segment, MBDA's competitors include Raytheon's Patriot system and Rafael's David's Sling. A spokesman for Armasuisse, Switzerland's defense procurement arm, told Defense News that similar bilateral meetings would be held with other governments whose companies have a stake in the Air 2030 program. “We talk to all governments,” said the spokesman. Meanwhile, the “competitive dialogue” phase of the program is in progress, which means the Swiss government engages in the complicated game of answering contractors' questions about programmatic details – some individually, some directed at the whole group. Companies are expected to deliver their offers by February. Asked what types of questions the procurement chiefs discussed this week, the Armasuisse spokesman said, “Of course there were questions, but we don't make those types of conversations public.” Swiss government officials are in the midst of sifting through feedback from political parties, trade unions, and regional governments on the best path toward making Air 2030 a reality. The key question for proponents is how to convince the population, under the rules of Switzerland's famous direct democracy, that the bulk sum of more than $8 billion is worth spending while leaving the decisions on hardware types to the government. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/10/17/swiss-french-procurement-chiefs-meet-amid-high-stakes-air-2030-race

All news