Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Evolving drone and missile threats are prompting Tokyo to reconsider its air defense

As neighboring countries such as China, Russia and North Korea add hypersonic weapons and artificial intelligence-equipped drones to their already vast arsenals, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces face an increasingly complex set of challenges to keep the country safe.

While Japan is known to have robust air defenses, advances in missile and aircraft technology – such as autonomous drone swarms and ballistic missiles that fly on irregular trajectories at low altitudes – have complicated and diversified the threat.

To make matters worse, the relatively low cost of mass-producing some of these weapons has raised the possibility that Japan – as well as US forces in the country – will find themselves on the receiving end of not one, but possibly several saturation attacks that could overwhelm the country. air defense in the event of a military conflict.

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