Japan to Create Hypersonic Missile-Detecting Long-Endurance Drone

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 08:13 AM, November 4, 2022
  • 1000
Japan to Create Hypersonic Missile-Detecting Long-Endurance Drone
Japan-made Type 11 (Tan-SAM Kai II) short-range air defense missile system

Japan’s Ministry of Defense reportedly wants to deploy long-endurance drones to detect hypersonic missiles.

The ministry aims to have the deployment of such drones stated in the country’s three key defense documents, which are due to be revised later this year, and to realize the deployment by fiscal 2027, The Japan Times reported citing sources.

The missile defense systems presently in service with Japan’s military cannot effectively detect hypersonic missiles, because they fly at lower altitudes than ordinary ballistic missiles and at speeds five times that of sound. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) also have Patriot and Aegis missile defense systems in service.

The ministry assumes that dozens of long-endurance drones equipped with infrared sensors will form a team to engage in surveillance activities around the clock, including over the Sea of Japan.

In the government’s fiscal 2022 budget, the ministry has secured ¥100 million (about $56 million) to study ways to use drones, the report said.

To develop a drone that is light enough for surveillance activities remains a challenge. A technology to avoid collision with other aircraft is also needed.

Along with the deployment of long-endurance drones, the ministry will proceed with a satellite constellation project to improve information-gathering activities. It is planning to launch around 50 small satellites over the five years from fiscal 2023.

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