As the Japanese Self-Defense Force continues to expand its operations, the Defense Ministry is now considering using SpaceX Starlink internet services.
As per reports from The Japan Times, the Maritime Self-Defense Force is considering equipping maritime vessels engaged in long-term voyages with Starlink.
The satellite internet service would boost the existing telecommunication capabilities on the vessels for non-secure communication.
The goal is to provide sailors on board the vessels with reliable internet to communicate with their families while on a long-term sail.
The investment will be included in the Ministry’s budget request for fiscal 2023. If approved, the Ministry will move swiftly to implement the internet service.
The service would be used for personal texts, emails, and image and video data per the budget request.
The current internet on-board Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels are limited at best.
Some vessels have wireless local area network services providing the crew access to emails and other data. However, the connection is spotty and has time restrictions that have impacted the sailors’ morale.
The Japanese government has been working hard to make conditions in its Maritime Self-Defense Force better. Back in November 2021, then Defense Minister Bobuo Kishi met with sailors’ families to discuss concerns from the families.
Improving the internet connection was high on the list.
If it goes ahead, Japan’s Self-Defense Force vessels would be the first military vessels to install Starlink terminals on board.