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Japan building missile defense sword and shield

Japan aims to develop a hypersonic missile interceptor by remodeling its surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to fill gaps in its missile defenses against China and North Korea’s fast-evolving hypersonic threats.

The Japan Times reported that Tokyo plans to overhaul its Type-03 SAM, which first entered service in 2003, to intercept hypersonic glide weapons. It aims to upgrade the Type 03’s launch software by 2026 and start mass production of upgraded missiles by April 2029, the report said. Japan first upgraded the Type 03 in 2017 to improve its capabilities against low-flying and fast-moving targets.