Author Topic: Japan showcases latest capabilities during ‘Fuji Firepower’ 2018  (Read 1211 times)


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Japan showcases latest capabilities during ‘Fuji Firepower’ 2018
Kelvin Wong, Gotemba, Japan - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
30 August 2018
IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) took the opportunity at this year’s ‘Fuji Firepower’ exercise to highlight its latest land and amphibious warfare capabilities and demonstrate its ability to secure the country’s outlying islands with a combined arms display at the East Fuji Maneuver Area (EFMA) near Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, on 26 August.

‘Fuji Firepower’ is the JGSDF’s largest annual live-fire drill and has been conducted annually since 1961. The latest iteration – which was observed by Japanese defence minister Itsunori Onodera and 24,000 spectators – comprised approximately 2,400 troops, 80 main battle tanks (MBTs) and armoured vehicles, 60 artillery systems, 700 support and logistics vehicles, as well as 20 fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.

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The JGSDF’s newly formed Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB), which was established on 27 March, also made its debut in the exercise series. The ARDB – which is based in Camp Ainoura in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, and combines ground combat and logistical assets along with aviation and naval support from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) – is an ongoing effort by the service to enhance its ability to defend the Nansei Islands in the southwest, including the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, which are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China.

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