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Japan progresses anti-ship and hypersonic missile programmes

Japan's MoD has signed contracts with MHI to research hypersonic weapons and signed a contract with KHI to research new anti-ship missiles, an example of which is seen here on display at the DSEI Japan 2023 show. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has signed contracts with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) to research and develop anti-ship and hypersonic missiles, according to an MoD press release on 6 June.

The MoD signed three contracts with MHI, which include hypersonic weapons research and the development of an upgraded Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP) and target observation rounds.

An MoD spokesperson told Janes that the country has allocated JPY200.3 billion (USD1.4 billion) to develop an upgraded HVGP with a longer range from the early deployment type.

โ€œThe development of an upgraded HVGP is scheduled to be completed in FY [fiscal year] 2030,โ€ the spokesperson added.

The MoD has allocated JPY58.5 billion for hypersonic weapons research to develop missiles that can travel at hypersonic speeds and are difficult to intercept, the spokesperson said. โ€œThe research on hypersonic weapons is scheduled to be completed in FY 2031.โ€

In the FY 2023 budgetary document, the MoD allocated funding of JPY22.2 billion to develop target observation rounds. The MoD seeks to develop the rounds by 2026.

โ€œThe rounds will search, detect, identify, and collect information of the target or enemy vessels while avoiding and breaking through the enemy's air-defence network and moving into the vicinity of the target,โ€ the budgetary document said.

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