Military Capabilities

Japan scrambled its fighter aircraft a record 1,168 times in 2016

20 April 2017

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled its fighters a record 1,168 times in fiscal year (FY) 2016 in response to foreign military aircraft approaching the country's airspace: the largest number of scrambles carried out by the service within a year since such operations began in 1958.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo said in a statement on 13 April that the overall number of scrambles was up 295 from the previous fiscal year but emphasised that no aircraft violated Japanese airspace during that time.

The latest figures, which came amid tensions between Japan and some neighbouring countries such as China and Russia over territorial disputes, exceeded the previous record of 944 scrambles set during the Cold War.

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