US to fly long range surveillance drones from Japan

US to fly long range surveillance drones from Japan

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Tokyo: The US military will deploy long-range Global Hawk surveillance drones from Japan next year, US and Japanese officials announced. This is the first time the Pentagon has been able to secure basing rights for the advanced unmanned aircraft in Northeast Asia.

The Air Force will begin flying “two or three” Global Hawks from an undetermined base in Japan next spring, a senior US administration official said.

The drones’ primary mission will be to fly near North Korea, an area where US officials hope they will greatly enhance current spying capabilities. The unarmed drones carry multiple spy sensors and are the most advanced surveillance aircraft in the Air Force’s fleet. They fly at altitudes above 60,000 feet, placing them out of range of most air defenses. Without pilots in the cockpit, they can fly for more than 28 hours at a time, giving them an unmatched range of nearly 9,000 nautical miles.

Source: Washington Post