Japan launched on 9 February an H-IIA rocket carrying an intelligence-gathering satellite from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) launch site at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.
The optical-imaging satellite, called Information Gathering Satellite Optical 7 (IGS Optical 7), joined seven other IGS satellites – two other optical and five radar-imaging ones – designed to enhance Japan’s reconnaissance capabilities amid what Tokyo has described as a “severe” security environment in the region. Tokyo plans to add two more satellites to the constellation.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in June 2018 that his government planned to make maximum use of the satellites to take all possible measures to enhance the country’s security and crisis management.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to Jane’s unrivalled data and insight, learn more about our subscription options at janes.com/products