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Japan to update homegrown missile for nuclear plant, island defense

14 units nationwide to receive new rocket for intercepting hypersonics

The updated Type-03 surface-to-air missiles will add an extra layer to Japan's missile defenses. (Photo courtesy of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force)

TOKYO -- Japan plans to introduce a new homegrown missile capable of intercepting ballistic missiles and hypersonic glide weapons by fiscal 2027, aiming to better defend nuclear power plants and other infrastructure as well as its remote islands.

Test production of the improved Type-03 medium-range surface-to-air missile, produced by such contractors as Mitsubishi Electric for the Ground Self-Defense Force, will begin in fiscal 2023. Also called Chu-SAM, the missile is seen as a complement to the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air missile.

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