Japan's Self-Defense Forces Test SpaceX Starlink Satellite Service

Japan's Self-Defense Forces Test SpaceX Starlink Satellite Service

Japan's Self-Defense Forces (also known as Japanese Armed Forces) have been conducting tests of the SpaceX Starlink satellite internet service since March, according to Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada. The tests come as Japan aims to enhance its satellite communications capabilities. Hamada emphasized the need to improve the resilience of communications in the Japanese military by utilizing multiple satellite networks.

Japan’s Ground, Air, and Maritime Self-Defense Forces have been utilizing the Starlink service for a couple of months now. The Japanese Ministry of Defense aims to adopt the Starlink network fully by April 2024, following the successful completion of the ongoing tests. The introduction of Starlink Low Earth Orbit technology would complement Japan's existing access to communication satellites in geostationary orbit. During the tests, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces have been evaluating the Starlink system at approximately 10 locations and incorporating it into training exercises, according to a Japan Times report. The results of these tests will guide the ministry's efforts to strengthen its systems. “In recent years, threats to the unfettered use of space have been increasing, and it is important to improve the resilience of satellite communications by using multiple communications satellite networks,” Hamada said.

Starlink currently consists of 4,367 satellites operating in Low Earth Orbit and provide internet service globally – on land, air, and at sea. The successful implementation of the Starlink network by Japan's Self-Defense Forces would contribute to strengthening the country's satellite communications infrastructure, ensuring reliable and resilient connectivity in the face of evolving threats. Starlink has proven to be useful to Ukraine's military for defense operations and emergency response teams amid the ongoing Russia war.

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About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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