Essay on Japan SIGINT Airborne Collection Plattforms

Essay on Japan SIGINT Airborne Collection Plattforms

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Technical intelligence collection technology since the end of World War II expanded to meet national policy makers’ needs in a growing, more diverse geopolitical environment.
Airborne Signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection is a growing means to close intelligence gaps that fulfill policymaker’s needs. Since the 1960s, the United States (US) and Britain were the primary governments with such capability (Streetly 2010). Today many nations in Asia maintain an airborne SIGINT collection capability. In broad terms, the following will discuss SIGINT airborne collection platforms in use by countries in Asia. Specifically, however, this writing will briefly discuss current and pre-World War II Japanese SIGINT organizations.

America and Asia
Many countries in Asia received American airborne SIGINT platforms. Countries include, for example, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Japan. One of America’s closest allies, South Korea, received four, according to Janes International Review, “… Hawker 800SIG COMINT and ELINT aircraft…,” and worked with Taiwan to develop a joint airborne system (Streetly 2010). In Japan, the primary airborne platforms in use are the EP-3 and YS-11EB. The popularity of airborne SIGINT capability by Asian countries lies in geography. Unlike Europe, in Asia many nations are island countries, or surrounded by large swaths of the Pacific Ocean. Thus, to maintain freedom of navigations that supports their collective, export driven economies, access by means of airborne platforms provide timely intelligence.

Japan and SIGINT


From an historical viewpoint and up to this point, the class largely focused on US and British SIGINT capabilities. However, prior to World War II the Japanese m...

... middle of paper ...

... November 19, 2013).

Kotani, Ken. 2005. “Could Japan Read Allied Signal
Traffic? Japanese Codebreaking and the Advance into French Indo-China,
September 1940.” Intelligence and National Security. 20:2, 304-320. This article was downloaded by: [American Public University System]. (accessed November 19, 2013).

Oros, Andrew L. 2002. “Japan's Growing Intelligence Capability.”
International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. 15:1, 1-25. This article was downloaded by: [American Public University System]. November 19, 2013).

Streetly, Martin. 2010. “The new face of airborne SIGINT: global, civil and
in real time.” Jane’s International Defense Review. This article was downloaded by: [American Public University System]. (accessed November 19, 2013).

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