US considers early-warning radar in Japan after China unveils ‘Guam Killer’ missile – report
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A US early-warning radar may soon be erected in Japan to track incoming projectiles and monitor enemy satellites, a Japanese paper revealed after China unveiled its newest ballistic missile, which puts Guam within its reach.
Washington will talk about the deployment of its Homeland Defense Radar (HDR) on Japanese soil with Tokyo, according to Yomiuri newspaper, citing sources in the US and Japanese governments. The early-warning compound would spot and track incoming ballistic projectiles, and also monitor enemy satellites in outer space.
The Yomiuri sources would not say what countries would be within reach of the radar facility, but the piece mentions the usual suspects, namely China, Russia and North Korea.
Interestingly, the publication coincided with China presenting its state-of-the-art intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-26 (DF-26). The new weapon has been in service with the Chinese military since April last year, but has not yet been seen in action
The DF-26 is said to have a range of between 3,000km and 5,741km (1,864 to 3,567 miles), which means that it is able to reach the US territory of Guam should war break out. There is much speculation in international media that the missile could also be used to strike US aircraft carriers at sea.
The US military had already started construction of its first HDR facility in Hawaii. Under a $585 million contract, a defense company will develop, test and assemble the radar by 2023.
The Japanese compound would reportedly become operational by 2025 and would work in conjunction with the HDR in Hawaii. However, this is not the only news on the Pentagon’s missile defense expansion that emerged in recent days.
On Tuesday, the US approved the sale of two Aegis Ashore missile-defense systems to Japan as part of a $2.15-billion deal. The Japanese Navy already has several Aegis-capable destroyers in its fleet, which are completely interoperable with similar US ships.
The deployment of Aegis Ashore systems by US allies has stirred much controversy, as its launch systems can be used to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles and other projectiles. That would effectively turn them into a potential offensive weapon.
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