In Asia, C4ISR Market is Growing

TAIPEI — Maritime territorial disputes and security problems have caused the Asian market for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to continue expanding.

China’s aggressive behavior in the East China and South China seas over the past two years has rattled the region. And continued concerns over piracy and other security issues in the Malacca Strait and Singapore Strait feed Singapore’s quest for “sense-making” by the military, say regional defense industry sources.

“Everyone wants to know what’s going on in the South China Sea,” said one Singapore-based defense industry source. “Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines want to know what’s going on in that battle space,” he said. “And you need C4 [command, control, communications and computers] to process the ISR.”

Nations in the region are looking at procuring maritime patrol aircraft, UAVs, beacon location systems for ships, anti-submarine warfare systems, coastal surveillance systems and land-based surveillance, including high-frequency surface wave radar and locatable over-the-horizon radar.

“The key thing is to detect activity and classify the contact as either fishing, combatant, pirate, commercial [or] pleasure boating in order to determine if there is a violation of territoriality,” the Singapore source said.

Much of the ISR procurement drive is focused on the South China Sea, but renewed unrest in the East China Sea over the Diaoyutai/ Senkaku islands among China, Japan and Taiwan is raising fears of war.

South Korea and Japan are also arguing over the South Korea-controlled Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean) in the Sea of Japan.

Japan’s response has been to enhance its land-based radar, electronic intelligence and signal intelligence facilities on a chain of islands along the Ryukyu Arc that stretches from Japan to Taiwan.

In Japan, C4ISR has emerged as the highest space and missile defense priority over the past few years because of continuing concerns about North Korean and Chinese missile programs, and also because of sustained U.S. pressure, which crystallized during April’s 2+2 Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee. The meeting pushed topics such as investment, cooperation and interoperability of C4ISR, cybersecurity and improved space situational awareness high on the agenda.

Accordingly, in its budget request for next financial year, beginning in April, Japan is beefing up all of its C4ISR assets, including asking for 44.5 billion yen ($554 million) for two P-1 maritime patrol craft and 10 billion yen to upgrade electronic warfare and make other improvements to four E-767 airborne early warning and control aircraft.

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Article courtesy of Defense News.

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