Japan to Develop Autonomous 155-mm Gun to Combat UAVs

The platform hosting the module will be based on the lightweight chassis derived from the Type 89.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 07:52 AM, June 15, 2024
  • 2344
Japan to Develop Autonomous 155-mm Gun to Combat UAVs
Rendering of an unmanned 155-mm gun @Japan MoD

The Ministry of Defense of Japan has greenlit funding for the development of a 155-mm gun system tailored to combat drone strikes.

The decision was disclosed in an official document published on the Ministry of Defense's website.

Citing insights gleaned from global conflicts, particularly the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Japanese defense authorities have identified the urgent need to fortify the nation's defenses against potential large-scale drone attacks. The envisioned 155-mm gun module represents a pivotal step towards furnishing Japan with a solution for detecting and neutralizing small airborne threats efficiently.

Japan to Develop Autonomous 155-mm Gun to Combat UAVs
155 mm guns targets drones @Japan MoD

A key criterion for development is ensuring that the cost per shot is lower than that of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), enabling the stockpiling of shells equipped with radio detonators.

The primary challenge in development lies in devising algorithms for effectively engaging drones across both long and short ranges, spanning from 5 to 15 kilometers. The proposed project involves integrating the universal 155-mm gun into an unmanned module, which will incorporate an optical detection station and employ an automatic loading system for ammunition.

The platform hosting the module will be based on the lightweight chassis derived from the Type 89 infantry fighting vehicle, previously utilized in the development of the Type 99 155-mm self-propelled artillery unit. Presently, Japan's anti-aircraft capabilities are limited, primarily consisting of Type 87 systems featuring twin 35 mm automatic guns. These installations are exclusively deployed by the 7th anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Northern Army to safeguard the core of Hokkaido.

Japan to Develop Autonomous 155-mm Gun to Combat UAVs
Unmanned module with a 155-mm gun @Japan MoD

Earlier reports indicated that the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) will collaborate with European firms in France and Germany to advance radiotrons development. The ongoing focus of development is oriented toward creating a system deployable from maritime platforms of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces in the future.

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