TOKYO (Sputnik) — The Japanese Ministry of Defense plans to launch its first satellite into orbit on January 24, 2017, to improve military communications infrastructure amid North Korea nuclear and military threats, media reported on Friday, citing a military source.
According to the Kyodo news agency, the Kirameki-2 satellite will be one of three military satellites, which will replace the civil analogues that are currently used for communication between Japan's military units. The new satellites will provide a direct high speed connection between the ground, naval and air forces of Japan.
The media outlet also reported that the Kirameki-1 satellite, damaged in 2016 during transport to the launch site, would also be renovated and launched in March 2018.
The Kirameki-2 or DSN-2 satellite is a X-band communications satellite built and operated by DSN Corporation for the Japanese Ministry of Defense, which has a 15-year lifetime.