U.S. MQ-4C drones stationed in Japan for the first time in response to Chinese Communist threat

The MQ-4C “Poseidon” unmanned reconnaissance aircraft at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C “Poseidon” unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, along with the U.S. Air Force’s RQ-4 “Global Hawk” high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, will be “temporarily deployed “To Japan to strengthen the U.S. and Japanese regional reconnaissance and defense capabilities to deal with the increasingly frequent maritime threats from the Chinese Communist Party.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said the drones, which were originally stationed at a base in Guam, will arrive in Japan in the second half of May to enhance “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” activities between the two countries in response to “the increasingly challenging security environment around Japan.

Japan said the U.S. military has temporarily deployed RQ-4 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft from its base in Guam to Japan since 2014. the MQ-4C unmanned aircraft, which will arrive in Guam in January 2020, will have similar capabilities to the RQ-4 but will be dedicated to maritime surveillance.

“This deployment will demonstrate the U.S. commitment to Japan’s defense and will benefit Japan’s security by enhancing maritime surveillance capabilities around Japan in light of the increasingly active maritime activities of neighboring countries.” The Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Recently, Japan has repeatedly denounced the Chinese Maritime Police Law, which will be implemented by the Communist Party on Feb. 1, 2021, as inconsistent with international law and vague in terms of its applicable maritime areas and the authority of the maritime police to use weapons.

Recently, Japan released a draft of the 2021 version of the Defense White Paper, which also condemns the Chinese Coast Guard Bureau vessels for operating near the Senkaku Islands (known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan) and sailing into Japanese territorial waters to pose a threat.

U.S. Air Force 5th Air Force spokesman Captain Andrea Valencia also confirmed the Japanese news, pointing out that the weather in the Kanto region is more favorable during the typhoon season, so the RQ-4 unmanned aircraft will be transferred from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam and deployed to Yokota Air Base in Japan.

Valencia stressed that the move ensures that the U.S. and Japan can jointly conduct sustained reconnaissance operations in the free and open and increasingly challenging Indo-Pacific region.

According to manufacturer Northrop Grumman, the RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft can fly at 60,000 feet and has a reconnaissance radius of more than 340 miles.

According to Stars and Stripes, a U.S. military media outlet, the exact range of the Global Hawk is classified, but Global Hawk surveillance aircraft flying near the North Korean demilitarized zone can reach the Yalu River on the border between China and North Korea.

Grumman said its MQ-4C “Poseidon” reconnaissance aircraft can detect, track, classify and identify ships at sea, and can stay in the air for more than 24 hours.