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Satnews Daily
January 18th, 2017

Japan's First Missile Defense Satellite Set For Launch

Artistic rendition of Japan's Kirameki No. 2 missile defense satellite.

The Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, will be the site of this nation's first launch of a satellite that will be dedicated to missile defense.

The goal of this satellite — named Kirameki No. 2 — is to detect and then track missiles that are launched from North Korea in hopes of offsetting future provocative moves by that country. This step is another along the way of Japan rearming itself in accordance with security legislation that was ratified and adopted in 2015 by the Security Defense Forces (SDF).

As X-band comms are not as affected by adverse weather or terrain as other frequencies, this new missile defense satellite will use this technology to transmit and receive large amounts of data, with the required reliability for various military units, regardless of the type of terrain at their staging or patrol areas. Japan is now able to use weapons, with their first such deployment by their forces recently in South Sudan as the nation assisted with a peacekeeping mission.

The first such satellite had been planned for a July 1, 2015, launch, but during transportation to the launch site, the spacecraft was damaged and that event had to be cancelled.