In new deal, US, Japan team up for counter-hypersonic research – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense
WASHINGTON: United States and Japan to sign new agreement to increase collaboration on research and development activities on emerging technologies, with particular emphasis on advanced space systems and anti-hypersonic missiles, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted Thusday.
Blinken announced the deal as he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin virtually met with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Thursday evening.
“When Japanese and American researchers leverage their complementary strengths, we can outperform and innovate anyone,” said Blinken in his opening remarks. “We therefore look forward to deepening these discussions and continuing to strengthen and modernize this alliance, which is more critical and also more vital than ever.”
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The new deal was made public just a day after North Korea launched a ballistic missile test on Wednesday. Later that day, North Korean state media claimed the event was its second hypersonic missile test – a statement South Korea disputed, according to Reuters.
China has also accelerated the development of hypersonic weapons, including testing a fractional orbital bombardment system that deployed a hypersonic glide vehicle over the summer.
“We come together against a backdrop of heightened tensions and challenges for the free, stable and secure Indo-Pacific region that we both seek … the challenges posed by North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and by coercive and aggressive behavior from the People’s Republic of China, “Austin said in opening remarks.
US and Japanese officials provided few details on the nature of the R&D sharing agreement, with a joint statement released after the meeting saying only that “ministers have committed to pursuing joint investments that accelerate innovation and ensure that the Alliance maintains its technological lead in critical and emerging areas. fields, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, directed energy and quantum computing ”,
One of the few concrete outcomes of the meeting: Japan and the United States agreed to conduct a joint analysis on how best to cooperate on counter-hypersonic technologies.
The deal comes just months after the United States signed the AUKUS surprise security deal with Australia and the UK, widely seen as a response to China. This agreement also covered the sharing of research on emerging technologies, but is much broader and includes in particular Australia receiving the technology to produce its first nuclear-powered submarines.