Home » Air » U.S., Japan consider Guam drone pact

U.S., Japan consider Guam drone pact

by Mike Hoffman on September 6, 2012

Japan and the U.S. are considering plans to use Guam as a hub for spy drones to monitor Chinese naval activities in the Pacific, according to a report in the Japan Times.

The U.S. already has Global Hawks stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The U.S. Air Force plans to expand the number of spy drones at Andersen and welcome Japan drones over the next decade as the Japanese military plans to buy its own drone fleet.

Japan’s Self-Defense Force had planned to buy Global Hawks of its own before the deal was scuttled due to price concerns. The Japanese have remained confident in their plans to buy their own drones, especially as the Chinese naval fleet has stepped up their patrols throughout the Pacific.

Japanese military leaders currently fly the P-3C patrol aircraft to monitor Chinese naval movements. The investment in a Global Hawk or the U.S. Navy’s version of the RG-4, the Triton, would be a considerable step up in Japan’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

U.S. and Japan air forces would share hangars and maintenance facilities for their drone fleets, according to the Japan Times report.

The U.S. Air Force’s Global Hawk arrived at Andersen in 2010. It’s the Air Force’s largest drone, although it does not carry weapons like the Predator or the Reaper.

U.S. Global Hawks from Guam flew missions over Japan after the massive tsunami obliterated the country. The Global Hawks provided intelligence and imagery for humanitarian clean up.

Northrop Grumman unveiled the RG-4C Triton in June as part of the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program. It’s expected to fly a considerable chunk of it’s missions over the Pacific monitoring the Chinese and North Koreans.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

SMSgt Mac September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Nothing quite screams ignorance of unmanned systems as much as referring to a UAV a ‘drone’. And nothing quite screams tabloid jingoism as much as referring to a military reconnaissance and surveillance asset as a “spy” something or other. Just sayin’.


brok3n September 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm


It's something that commentators have left here in the past, but the ignorant author refuses to change the terminology. In his mind, he probably thinks the terms add more 'pep' to his 'story'.


blight_ September 7, 2012 at 10:34 am

Media has to get paid.

I mean, "assault weapons" and "Teflon bullets" are proof that bang-bang is scary and shouldn't be researched for veracity.


tiger September 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Or those killer Toyota's last year. Seriously folks learn to work a gear shift….
Media finds cars scary too.


blight_ September 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Stickshift and no push-button start.

Clutch-neutral, apply brakes, kill engine.

However, we love our automatics and keys are too low tech. lul?


Leadership=Misguided November 9, 2012 at 6:25 am

Drone – an unmanned aircraft or ship guided by remote control.

Thanks Merriam-Webster

-SMSgt… go micro-manage somewhere else! :)


Joe September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I honestly believe most of this china mongering is hype designed to sell more stuff. That being said, nothing wrong with being prepared for it. Even though the next war we will be involved in will be in mexico and central america and probably africa as well.


Nenad September 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Say that to Vietnamese people(they lost many lives in 1979 Chinese aggression), later Chinese occupied their islands, Philippines(they are under pressure this summer), than Chinese war with India in 1962, they even attacked Soviet border patrols back in 70's and now they are migrating inside Siberia. US must stop China before it's too late(not by war, but simply via cooperation with other countries, like NATO stopped Soviets in Europe).


ltfunk2 September 7, 2012 at 4:49 am

Maybe the Vietnamese want another American occupation LOL


tiger September 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

I think Joe you are right. A century ago folk in the Royal Navy even thought the USA a threat due to the size of our Navy. Rival? Yes. Threat? Makes little business sense. They need jobs for millions in factories making stuff we buy.


chris September 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

The Mexicans are going to invade Kenya? Or vice versa?


Lance September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

After tidal wave repaire to there nation the question is can they afford to buy RQ-4s.


MrMind September 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Humanitarian assistance like this is a primo way of selling our capabilities. Good thing our tsunami machine is working, bwahaha.


Rod September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I'm not a fan of Chinese war mongering but if it'll force them to play nicely with the other kids in the South China Sea playground, I'm all for it.


Ron September 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Got's to keep an eye out to China. They would like to be the Warlord in Asia, pushing little Asian countries around for territorial sovereignty for natural resources, can't have that.


Juuso September 8, 2012 at 6:17 am

Not that different from US supporting all sort of despots in gulf.


Nadnerbus September 7, 2012 at 3:36 am

The article substance aside, just re-read the headline and think about living 70 years ago. It would be incomprehensible gibberish. US and Japan agree on defensive moves? Drones? What the hell are drones?

The world has moved so fast in the last century, and it is accelerating ever faster. Just the changes of the last ten years in civilian and military technology is astounding. I just hope we as humans are smart enough to keep up with and mange them, and not the other way around.


blight_ September 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Hopefully by the time we deploy fully autonomous drones we will hard-code Asimov's Three Laws, and skip the zeroth law…


Dan September 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

This is a good to us. ASEAN to counter the increase movement of Red Chinese naval vessels in the Pacific ocean and The whole China sea especially the Western Philippine Sea.Let us protect our country to this beast, the dragon has awakened thinking that she is living still in the ancient time." NO BILATERAL TALK WITH RED CHINA." China respect and honor our United Nation charter of the international rule of the sea. Both of us, The Philippines and Red China are signatories of that charter." The 200 nautical miles EEZ ".


Naval Aircrewman September 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

A step up from the Mighty P3 Orion? I think not, the multitude of MK1 "Eyeballs" looking out the windows of the P3 can look in many directions at once.


Random Brit September 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm

That is true, but how does the P3 match in terms of endurance?


tiger September 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

it can fly for 35 hours & reach 65,000 ft


tiger September 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Sadly, Eyeballs cost $$$ & benefits. Tight budgets are trying to do the job with less spending on both. While not so good for a lonely soul in a lifejacket with a signal mirror. Long term they will get a boring job done better. Personally I wish We had something like the Russian Beriev BE-200's for the job.


analistainternacional September 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

China loves to run through your EEZ and this survelliance will check all chinese movement's and after all, will see all new chinese stuff that they will deploy on sea or in the air.


QuantomForce September 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Forget Japan who the hell needs them. All they do is complain and protest without contributing a damn thing. Their xenophobic attitude toward everything is only furthering their decline. Frankly we would be better off turning our focus elsewhere. The next thing you know they will be complaining about drones crashing lol. Time Japan join the rest of the world instead of being stuck in the 17th century. If South Korea can do it. No reason Japan can’t either.


Mother F September 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Wow, an aviation troll. Do everyone a favor and crawl back under your rock.


tiger September 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I'll second the troll nomination. Your treating a friend like crap.


Leadership=Misguided November 9, 2012 at 6:32 am

You are the biggest bigot/idiot I've ever met. Try living in Japan for a few years and re-read your ignorant post. I spent 4 years there and there are found that there are no greater people on the planet than the Japanese and I've lived in 6 countries. They know how to treat their people and accommodate for foreigners.

But I'm not Japanese… so I can say your a f*ckbag :) .


Eric Wurmstein September 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Japan isn't one of our allies, no matter how much they pretend to be. They have hated us since Word War II, but we both know they cannot face us directly, so they are resorting to "innocently" buying our technology.


orly? September 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Actually VISIT this place called Japan, and then try talking your crap.


blight_ September 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Are they still Tojos to you?


Leadership=Misguided November 9, 2012 at 6:33 am

Hey Eric,

You're an idiot.



Lisa Morrison November 11, 2012 at 1:43 am

Seems like the Japanese have you all fooled. Well they do say ignorance is bliss lol. Japan doesn’t hate americans per say. They don’t like any foreigners which don’t look Japanese. If you guys are buying into that polite facide crap you really are fools. What Japanese really think vs what they say are two different things. They might act polite but under the surface they are very narrow minded people. Have you ever noticed that 99% of the crimes that are committed by Japanese citizens never get reported on. A Japanese policeman assaults a 11 year old girl and nothing happens. Yet if a military personal commits the same crime it
makes national news. Japanese media paints a picture that all
Foreigners should be looked on with guilt as they will eventually
commit a crime in Japan. As though all foreigners are connected
through the ceribal cortex lol. Just like all non Japanese are
violent criminals waiting to terrorize Japanese citizens! I am not
saying all Japanese are like this. Yet if you have been in Japan for
any period of time. You will find that the whole polite demeanor
is a front. Japan hasn’t changed as much as people think they have.

ever have anything


Noha307 September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

There is no room for your optimism in DefenseTech – all comments must be negative!


orly? September 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Apparently some people (even on this board) still think Japan is irrelevant.

I still think its the major pivot point of Asia.


Jim October 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Yes, Japs then bomb Peal Harbor.


Skyepapa September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I can't believe after over sixty years we're just now forging this level of cooperative exchange.

How's that?


Ron September 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Japan embrace Democracy, China on the other hand?


Skyepapa September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

China embraces China. Everything else is sustenance.


Ron September 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

You got it, mate.


tiger September 7, 2012 at 7:52 am

That maybe due to the fact for most Americans; the biggest job the JSDF has done in 60 years is keeping Godzilla, Rodan & the giant shrimp busy……..


Pilgrimman September 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

How can you forget Mothra?


tiger September 7, 2012 at 11:56 am

LOL So true. Mothra. The world's only monster with his own Back up singers!!
For some reason, the JSDF never learned to build a atomic Bug lamp. Would have been better than the toy F-86's & tanks.

You know, They really must have hit the LSD hard in the 1960's & 70's When you come up with a Giant moth as a film idea. Sadly, I'm still waiting on the Oxygen gum so I could Swim like Marine boy. Or for my flash light to turn me into Ultraman.


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