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Japan: aircraft "scramble" on the rise

Over 650 fighter takeoffs to intercept and identify airplanes

Scrambles increased in Japan in 2023. Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) fighter jets took off 669 times to intercept suspected violations of Tokyo's airspace. This is what emerges from the data published in recent hours by the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

"Despite a decrease of 109 cases compared to 2022, the number of scramble flights remains very high. From what we have observed, we note worrying activity in the country's airspace by Chinese and Russian military aircraft, including unmanned ones. This is why we will remain be vigilant and we will monitor the situation carefully", was the comment made by the Japanese Defense Minister, Minoru Kihara, at the press conference.

"Scramble" is a military term that defines the immediate take-off of an interceptor fighter in an emergency to secure national airspace. According to the Japanese ministry, in 70% of the cases the violations involved Chinese military aircraft, including a drone spotted for the first time in the Sea of Japan. A confirmation that the Indo-Pacific is today the hottest place on the planet.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency