National Security

US, Japan Sign Agreement To Build Hypersonic Missile Interceptors


Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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The Pentagon announced Wednesday that they had signed an agreement with Japan to develop interceptors with “hypersonic missile defense capabilities,” a press release read.

The Pentagon said that the agreement, Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI) Cooperative Development (GCD) Project Arrangement, was issued under the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), according to the press release. (RELATED: White House Forced Into Clean-Up Duty After Biden Calls Critical Ally ‘Xenophobic’)

The Pentagon claimed that this joint venture would bolster “regional deterrence” and strengthen the “long-standing missile defense cooperation” between the two nations. “The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is leading the development of GPI for the DoD, which will provide hypersonic missile defense capability during the glide-phase portion of hypersonic flight. Per the signed GPI Cooperative Development (GCD), Japan will lead development of rocket motors and propulsion components of GPI,” the press release said.

This development is set to cost over $3 billion and will be completed by the 2030s, Agence France-Presse reported. The project was green-lighted back in August 2023 during a summit between President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida at Camp David, the outlet reported.

Hypersonic weapons are projectiles that exceed Mach 5, five times the speed of sound, that have proven to be a challenge for more traditional missile defenses, according to CTV News. Japan already earmarked $490 million for the project out of their expected $1 billion contribution, the outlet reported. The interceptors would be mounted on destroyers, the outlet noted.

Japan has contentious disputes with North Korea and China, AFP reported. Both countries have hypersonic missile capabilities, multiple outlets reported.