08:16 GMT07 April 2020
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    The Japanese Defense Ministry’s first military communications satellite Kirameki-2 was launched Tuesday from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center on an H-2A carrier rocket in the country's southwest.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The Kirameki-2 satellite is one of three military-oriented satellites that will replace three civilian analogues currently used by the Japanese military. The new ones are designed to improve communications infrastructure via providing a direct high-speed connection between the ground, naval and air forces of Japan amid North Korea's nuclear and military threats, according to the Kyodo news agency.

    The satellite will cover the area of the Indian Ocean, and is set to be used by the Japanese UN peacekeepers in South Sudan and against Somalian sea pirates.

    The Kirameki-1 satellite was damaged in 2016 during transportation to the launch site and is intended to be overhauled and launched in March 2018, and the Kirameki-3 in 2021.

    The Kirameki-2 is an X-band communications satellite with a 15-year lifespan built by DSN Corporation for the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

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    Tags:
    communications, satellite, Defense Ministry, Japan
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