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Japan plans to deploy hypersonic missiles and upgraded carrier

Draft guidelines raise eyebrows over growing offensive capabilities

The Izumo military helicopter carrier of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) . Japan has been beefing up its defense capabilities in order to counter rising threats in the region.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is looking to deploy long-range and hypersonic missiles as part of guidelines due out this month, though some critics say such equipment goes beyond the Self-Defense Forces' purely defensive mandate.

The Defense Ministry has been working on new equipment, ostensibly to defend far-flung islands, including high-speed glide missiles capable of traveling more than 300 km and hypersonic guided missiles that fly more than five times the speed of sound to evade radar networks. It also aims to develop unmanned surveillance submarines under the new guidelines. All are expected to become deployable in the mid-2020s.

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