Japan and the US fast-track hypersonic defence tech amid tensions

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Japan is collaborating with the United States to develop hypersonic interceptor technology to counter aerial threats.
This joint venture comes as Japan faces increased military pressure from North Korea’s nuclear advancements and China’s assertive posture over the contested Senkaku Islands.
In August 2023, the US and Japan announced a joint effort to combat the rising threat of hypersonic missiles in the Indo-Pacific region, unveiling the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI) as part of their collaboration.
The Japanese government has allocated $1bn (Y157bn) to develop the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI), a project that underlines the nation’s emphasis on enhancing its missile defence capabilities. According to GlobalData, a prominent data and analytics firm, this initiative is part of a broader plan to see Japan spending approximately $8.9bn on missile procurement over the next decade.
The GPI, designed to intercept high-speed missiles during their glide phase, represents a leap in defensive technology.
Vinayak R Kamath, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, highlighted the long-standing defence partnership between Japan and the US. “Japan has relied on its long-term partner, the US, for various defence equipment,” Kamath noted. “Japan will continue to engage with the country in the near future to jointly develop next-generation weapons such as the GPI.”

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