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Japan Is Developing Supersonic Glide Weapons

Japanese defence industry is pursuing to produce a new kind of weapon to deliver an explosive payload at supersonic speeds. The unconventional technique is designed have high precision guidance. On Oct. 15, 2018, Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said the country’s Ministry of Defence had crafted the hypersonic weapon plan with an eye toward having the initial system in service no later than 2026. Hyper-Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP) is consisted of two stages: a booster rocket stage, which accelerates it to supersonic speeds, and a second aerodynamic warhead that separates from the booster and glides the rest of the way to the target. The Japanese government first officially revealed it was working on HVGP, in an annual defence white paper that came out in August 2018. First HVGP will be more conventional and it will be ready by 2026 and faster one by 2028. The weapon is expected to have a range between 217 and 310 miles but Japanese defence officials acknowledge that once the system works greater ranges are attainable.

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