Japan Coast Guard Starts Unmanned Aircraft Operation
Hachinohe, Aomori Pref., Oct. 19 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Coast Guard on Wednesday started operating an unmanned aircraft for vigilance and surveillance activities over waters near the country.
The agency's first unmanned aerial vehicle is based at the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Hachinohe air base in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Pilots will take shifts to control the aircraft from a ground cockpit for guard duties, using a camera equipped on it. The aircraft is capable of flying for 24 hours.
The plane left the ground around 3 p.m. (6 a.m. GMT) and the agency checked the performance of the camera and other functions, according to the JCG.
The aircraft will be operated over the Yamatotai ocean bank, a plentiful fishing area in the Sea of Japan where illegal operations by foreign fishing boats are frequently spotted, and areas on the Pacific side.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]