Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has requested 260 billion yen ($3.4 billion) for military space programs for 2012, up from the current budget of 60 billion yen, according to MoD documents released Sept. 30.

Some 188 billion yen of the proposed 200 billion yen increase would go toward an X-band regional satellite communications network, according to the documents.

An illustration of the proposed system shows three geostationary satellites communicating with MoD forces deployed as far afield as Hawaii to the east and the Gulf of Aden to the west. MoD officials said the network will be constructed under a private finance initiative with unnamed Japanese companies and that launch would occur after 2015.

“We will be releasing details in December, when the budget situation is clearer,” an MoD official said Oct. 6.

The rest of Japan’s military space budget request would fund the purchase of satellite imagery and development of  a space-based infrared missile warning sensor.

Separately, the MoD has requested 800 million yen to fund Japan’s portion of the SM-3 Block 2A missile, which Japan is co-developing with the United States for missile defense systems.

Japan’s 2012 budget year begins in April.



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