Missile-intercepting satellite network in development with U.S., JapanNews
August 21, 2020
TOKYO. The United States and Japan are to jointly build a network of small satellites capable of detecting new missiles, as Tokyo warns of increasing threats from North Korea. The purpose of the satellites would be to complement the currently existing system of missile defense, which includes Japan's PAC-3 missile interceptors, acccording to officials.
Tokyo is growing increasingly wary of North Korean weapons development. In July, Japan's defense ministry said North Korea could have perfected the capability to miniaturize nuclear warheads.
The U.S. and Japanese militaries are keeping a close watch on the development of hypersonic weapons under way in China and Russia. These missiles are difficult to intercept with conventional satellites and can change course unpredictably and quickly.
The Japanese report on satellite networks comes after the U.S. Space Development Agency released a draft request for proposals, seeking a contractor to build eight satellites with infrared sensors to track hypersonic weapons, according to C4ISRNET, a U.S. online military tech publication in May.