Japan introduces MQ-9B large UAV for maritime surveillance missions

MQ-9B UAV for maritime surveillance

According to the latest news from Japan's Kyodo News, on October 19, the MQ-9B "Sea Guardian" imported by the Japan Coast Guard from General Atomic Energy of the United States was officially put into use to monitor the waters around Japan. According to reports, the UAV will be deployed at the Hachinohe Air Base of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, mainly for maritime surveillance tasks, and can also be engaged in response to shipwrecks and other disasters.

The operation and maintenance of the MQ-9B UAV will be in the charge of American pilots and maintenance engineers, but the specific operations will be led by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has also formed a 20-member team to be responsible for the deployment, command and intelligence analysis of drones. It is worth noting that the Japanese media once mentioned that the main purpose of Japan's introduction of the MQ-9B drone is to deal with "Chinese official ships that are frequently active near the Diaoyu Islands."

The MQ-9B UAV is a member of the MQ-9 "Reaper" UAV family produced by the General Atomic Energy Corporation of the United States, but it does not carry weapons and mainly performs long-term reconnaissance missions. According to the introduction, the MQ-9B UAV is 11.7 meters long, 24 meters wide, and has a battery life of up to 35 hours. It can perform reconnaissance and surveillance tasks at an altitude of more than 10,000 meters. The camera equipment it carries also has the function of real-time transmission of on-site images. 

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