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Northrop to Support US-Japan Counter-Hypersonic Missile Program

Northrop Grumman will collaborate on the US-Japan counter-hypersonic missile system development program.

Along with the US Missile Defense Agency, Northrop will team up with the Japanese Ministry of Defense and its industry partners to develop elements of the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI).

This stems from the 2023 US-Japan bilateral memorandum of understanding for research, development, test, and evaluation projects.

“We are combining the technical strength of our two countries to develop an effective counter-hypersonic solution,” Northrop Grumman vice president of launch vehicles Mike Pinkston said.

“We are committed to investing in technology that delivers the capabilities our customers need now to respond to growing threats.” 

Glide Phase Interceptor 

Northrop and Raytheon are competing for the GPI design award, with the first fielding expected in the mid-2030s.

The GPI involves knocking down a hypersonic projectile during its glide phase of flight — when the missile is skimming space before reentering the atmosphere.

Preliminary reports suggest that the interceptors are likely to be launched from a modified version of the ship-based Aegis Weapon System.

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