14 Jan 2015 By Greg Waldron - FG
Japan’s parliament has approved a Y4.98 trillion ($42 billion) defence budget for FY2015, with a strong emphasis on new airpower capabilities. The budget, posted on the web site of Japan’s defence ministry, is 2.8% higher than in FY2014, and sets a new record for Japanese defence spending. It contains funding for several major aircraft programmes, notably 20 Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft. The budget will also see the radar and infrared sensors carried by the nation’s Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion aircraft upgraded, as well as service life extensions for three P-3Cs. It also includes funding for five Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft, which will be part of a new amphibious capability modelled on the US Marine Corps.