Japan Wants Supersonic Glide Bombs To Protect Disputed Islands from China

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Earlier this week, we published a summary of an internal document via Kyodo News from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that specified a military crisis at sea between China and Japan could be on the horizon.

The internal report, authored by two Chinese military officials at the Naval Military Research Institute and Dalian Naval Academy, suggested that the probability of a significant military crisis at sea between both countries is rapidly increasing due to disputes over islands in the East China Sea. In particular, the Japan-owned Senkakus Islands, which are also claimed by China, where the land masses are known as the Diaoyu, and Taiwan, which calls them Tiaoyutai.

“The Diaoyu clearly possess economic and sovereign value, but its military significance is even more evident,” the PLA report states. “Its location is strategically important if we choose to take Taiwan by force. It is also important in competing with Japan for maritime rights.”

Not long after the PLA report surfaced, officials of the Defence Ministry in Tokyo told Jiji Press news agency that it plans on funding the next generation of supersonic glide bombs designed to defend its outer islands from enemy forces [China].

Funding for the program has already been set aside, while an additional 13.8 billion yen ($122 million) has been requested for 2019.

Garren Mulloy, a professor of international relations at Japan’s Daito Bunka University, said the new weapon would be used in tandem with cruise missiles to thwart the take over of the highly contested islands in the East China Sea.

“Up until now, the Japanese have been very short of these precision-guided munitions, especially in comparison to the US, Nato or the Russians, so it comes as no surprise that they want to look into these sorts of weapons,” he said.

The weapons are expected to be deployed aboard mobile, land-based launchers.

“Given Tokyo’s concern over the possibility of China occupying the Diaoyu Islands – the archipelago in the East China Sea that Tokyo controls but Beijing claims – it is possible that the first units would be deployed on islands within range of that potential flashpoint,” said The South China Morning Post.

The glider’s speed and steep angle of approach could render some missile defense systems obsolete. This weapon is similar to the hypersonic glider that China, Russia, and the US are currently testing in separate defense programs.

Full article: Japan Wants Supersonic Glide Bombs To Protect Disputed Islands from China (ZeroHedge)

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