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Japan Considers Patriot Radar Upgrade to Counter Hypersonics: Report

The Japanese government is considering a Patriot missile system radar upgrade with counter-hypersonic capabilities.

Tokyo is planning to upgrade some Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) – 3 radars with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), The Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing sources.

Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor

The Raytheon radar has been developed to defeat various aerial threats, including hypersonic missiles.

The Active Electronically Scanned Array radar has over twice the detection range of the Patriot radar, which can detect a target 12 to 99 miles (20 to 160 kilometers) away, and a higher velocity-detection range.

The Gallium Nitride-powered radar transmits electricity more efficiently than traditional gallium arsenide-powered radar, enabling a stronger signal and heightened sensitivity.

Moreover, the radar’s three antennas enable it to detect multiple threats simultaneously, something the Patriot AN/MPQ-53 radar cannot do.

Upgrade to Be Approved This Week

Japan’s missile defense hinges on its eight Aegis guided-missile destroyers and 34 ground-based PAC – 3 batteries, geared primarily toward ballistic missile defense.

China has recently inducted the Dongfeng-17 intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle. 

North Korea also claims to have tested a hypersonic weapon earlier this year.

The Japanese government has included the radar upgrade plan in the country’s medium-term defense program, which is set for approval this week.

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