The Return of Kido Butai?


The headline is hyperbole, of course — Japan isn’t about to concentrate six fleet carriers into a single formation and go galavanting around the Pacific and Indian oceans, blowing everybody up and stuff. But there is this:


Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force may begin flying unmanned surveillance drones from destroyers at sea as a possible prelude to procuring aircraft carriers, local media is reporting.

According to The Japan Times, “The Maritime Self-Defense Force is considering deploying fixed-wing unmanned reconnaissance aircraft that can take off from and land on destroyers.” If the plan is approved, the MSDFs intend to research these operations extensively.

I’m sure they do (cough, cough).

Fact is, Japan has already built one out of a planned three “destroyers” with suspiciously flat tops, as Longtime Sharp VodkaPundit Readers™ are of course aware.

What I find interesting is that Japan is taking this safe-sounding baby step of “only” using unmanned drone aircraft. As if Japan has the manpower to do much else. They’ll fly unmanned jets off of highly-automated ships — and they’ll probably be darned good at it, too.

China will protest of course, but they have nobody to blame but themselves.


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