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Japan Has Solution to Shoot Down Drones and Missiles with 155-mm Hyper Projectiles, Considering Ukraine's Experience

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 The US Air Force experimental firing of HVP projectiles in September 2020 / Open source photo
The US Air Force experimental firing of HVP projectiles in September 2020 / Open source photo

Which countries have already experimented with this, how expensive and effective it is

The shortage of air defense systems in the world encourages different countries to develop air defense systems of different types. For instance, Japan has recently unveiled a project for a 155-mm anti-aircraft artillery gun to destroy drones at short range.

This artillery gun is supposed to be able to shoot down airborne threats at a distance of 5-15 kilometers. The platform for it will be the Type 89 infantry fighting vehicle, which is the basis for the Japanese Type 99 self-propelled howitzer.

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Japan Has Solution to Shoot Down Drones and Missiles with 155-mm Hyper Projectiles, Considering Ukraine's Experience, Defense Express
Rendering of promising 155-mm anti-aircraft gun by the Ministry of Defense of Japan

The Ministry of Defense of Japan notes it has creatively rethought the experience of the russian war against Ukraine that in this way. In particular it dictates the need for a massive, effective and mobile tool to destroy enemy drones.

According to the Military Balance 2023, the Japan Self-Defense Forces have 111 local analogues of Gepard anti-aircraft guns, designated as Type 87. They are used to defend the island of Hokkaido from possible russian aggression.

Japan Has Solution to Shoot Down Drones and Missiles with 155-mm Hyper Projectiles, Considering Ukraine's Experience, Defense Express
Japanese analogues of Gepard anti-aircraft guns / Open source illustrative photo

At first glance, the project of a 155-mm anti-aircraft gun from the Ministry of Defense of Japan may look more like a local exotic and its practical implementation may be questionable. But it should be noted that four years ago, the USA was already experimenting with 155-mm artillery as a promising air defense weapon capable of shooting down even cruise missiles.

As part of one of the experiments, the US Air Force conducted test firings of a 155-mm hypersonic projectile designated as HVP (Hypervelocity Projectile) in September 2020. This projectile was created by BAE Systems company. It was shot from an M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer. The target was a BQM-167 Skeeter aerial target that was successfully destroyed.

It was noted that the flight speed of the HVP projectile was 5 Mach, the maximum flight range was up to 80 kilometers, and the cost of one such hyper projectiles was 86 thousand dollars in 2020. HVP explosives were not intended to be used. The target had to be destroyed by kinetic hit.

The HVP did not reach the stage of a serial product. This development by the Ministry of Defense of Japan of 155-mm anti-aircraft gun is still only at the conceptual stage. But the 155-mm anti-aircraft gun may become a viable solution in modern warfare against drones and cruise missiles.

Japan Has Solution to Shoot Down Drones and Missiles with 155-mm Hyper Projectiles, Considering Ukraine's Experience, Defense Express

Earlier Defense Express reported that Brazil had presented Dagger glide bomb kit at Eurosatory 2024 Expo.

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