Missions of ATLA
1. Ensuring Technological Superiority and Responding to Operational Needs Smoothly and Quickly
In order to secure technological superiority under the increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, and to deliver the superior equipment in such environment, ATLA will grasp trends in advanced technologies, formulate a technology strategy which sets forth the direction for future Research and Development (R&D) based on trends, cooperate with various R&D organizations within Japan and overseas, apply advanced dual-use technologies, and enhance technological capabilities through R&D projects. Also ATLA will smoothly and swiftly reflect operational needs of JSDF in every stage of defense equipment acquisition through project management.
2. Efficient Acquisition of Defense Equipment (Project Management)
Before the establishment of ATLA, work related to equipment acquisition in JMOD was divided over various organizations and departments. All these organizations and departments are now integrated into ATLA so that effective project management* becomes possible throughout the equipment’s lifecycle ranging from concept study, R&D, production, operation, maintenance/sustainment towards disposal, and efficient equipment acquisition is promoted. The Project Management Department in ATLA is structured to execute project management under designated Project Managers (PMs) with civilians and uniformed officers in each project team.
* Regarding R&D and procurement of defense equipment, Project Management is to formulate directions and plans for further effective and efficient projects and conduct necessary coordination by considering various factors such as performance, cost and schedule throughout the lifecycle of the equipment, from concept study to disposal
3. Strengthening of Defense Equipment and Technology Cooperation with other countries
ATLA promotes cooperation on defense equipment and technology from the perspective of peace contribution and international cooperation and the security of Japan including strengthening national security and defense cooperation with other countries, efficient and effective acquisition of defense for JSDF equipment and maintaining and strengthening defense production and technological bases. Overseas transfer of defense equipment will be strictly and carefully promoted in accordance with the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology.
Structure improvement for promoting defense equipment and technology cooperation
The status quo
- National Defense Program Guidelines and Midterm Defense Program (cabinet decision, Dec. 17, 2013)
⇒Emphasizing maintenance and strengthening defense production and technological bases and project management
- The Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology (cabinet decision, Apr. 1, 2014)
⇒Expanding the range of the overseas transfer of defense equipment and international cooperation
- Strategy on Defense Production and Technological Bases (published, June. 19, 2014)
⇒Stipulating promotion of active and strategic defense equipment and technology cooperation under the government’s leadership
Ongoing main projects of defense equipment and technology cooperation
F-35 Regional Depot (U.S.)
V-22 common Maintenance base (U.S.)
Cooperative Research on the Feasibility of a Joint New Air to Air Missile (U.K.)
Feasibility Study for Mine Countermeasure Technological Activities (France)
Cooperative Research on the Visual SLAM based GNSS Augmentation Technology for UGV / Robotics (India)
Defense Equipment and Technology Cooperation that ATLA promote
- Strengthening the strategic function (establishment of new relationship for defense equipment and technology cooperation)
- Negotiation, discussion and coordination with other countries (memorandum of understanding, price, education program, maintenance),etc.
- System investigation and improvement the system concerning overseas transfer (safety certificate of defense equipment, transfer scheme of defense equipment and technology, application of defense equipment to commercial use), etc.
- Strict control on key technologies for defense equipment (to protect technologies that should be protected as Japan’s strength)
- Reconstruction of bases in foreign countries
4. Maintain and Strengthen Defense Production and Technological Bases
Defense production and technological bases consist of human resources, materials and technologies in order to develop, produce, operate, maintain, sustain, improve and refurbish defense equipment, and they are necessary for activities and operations of JMOD/JSDF. Maintaining and strengthening such domestic bases are necessary in order for Japan to supply its own equipment suitable for its territorial characteristics and environment and also to fully demonstrate its defense capability. It is also significant from the point of economic effects in domestic industries through spin-off from defense equipment and creation of employment.
5. Cost Reduction Efforts and Strengthening of Inspection and Audit Functions
Although cost effective procurement activities by JMOD have been successful to a certain extent, efforts towards further cost effective procurement are necessary for future defense capability buildup, considering current situation surrounding defense budget and procurement of defense equipment. Promotion of further cost reduction efforts such as improvement of contracting systems concerning defense production will be progressed. Also, aiming to improve fairness and transparency concerning acquisition of defense equipment, inspection and audit functions are strengthened through multilayered internal and external check in terms of measures to ensure fairness in contract and reinforcement of examination functions.