From loitering munitions and multisensor platforms to large autogyro cargo drones — this year’s Singapore Airshow hosted an array of unmanned aerial vehicles and tech that could benefit Japan at a time when the Self-Defense Forces are planning to replace their aging aircraft and helicopters with UAVs.

The airshow, which wrapped up earlier this week, highlighted the growing international demand for unmanned systems as they become increasingly indispensable for modern militaries, particularly against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, where they have played a significant role on the battlefield.

Japan’s defense establishment is well aware of how drones are transforming warfare, which is why Tokyo is envisaging a growing role for unmanned systems in the SDF, especially in the air and maritime domains, as the country faces an increasingly tense regional security environment.