Japan Planning to Integrate Israeli Interceptors in its Air Defence Systems

By Arie Egozi

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Tel Aviv: Japan may integrate Israeli made interceptors in its existing air defence systems. Japan is very concerned as North Korea is getting more aggressive. North Korea is armed with nuclear weapons and has launched some 40 ballistic missiles that in parts of their trajectory, crossed Japanese air space.

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The Japanese air defence against ballistic missiles is mainly based on US Patriot PAC 3 missiles but the Japanese armed forces are concerned that these will not be enough if North Korea launches a salvo of ballistic missiles to hit targets in Japan.

In 2022 the defence relations between Japan and Israel have received a boost, when former Israeli defence minister visited Tokyo. Israeli sources said that the Japanese are interested at this point in adding the Israeli Stunner, also known as the SkyCeptor interceptors to their patriot launchers.

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The Stunner is the interceptor used by Rafael’s David’s Sling very advanced air defence system. David’s Sling’s advanced, multi-mission interceptor, known as the Stunner or the SkyCeptor, a joint endeavour of Rafael and  Raytheon.

The companies say that the interceptor is lethal, flexible and affordable to be used as hit to-kill ballistic missiles.

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According to Rafael, the Stunner / SkyCeptor delivers superior kinematics, manoeuvrability and lethality by combining novel innovative steering control, multi-pulse propulsion and a next-generation seeker combined into a lightweight airframe.

The Japanese interest in the Israeli developed interceptor stems mainly because it is combat proven. According to the Israeli company, SkyCeptor, combined with the Patriot family of systems and other US battle management and command/control solutions offer excellent performance. SkyCeptor’s cost effectiveness ensures that interceptors can be deployed in sufficient quantities to defend effectively against rapidly increasing numbers of asymmetric threats.

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SkyCeptor intercepts tactical ballistic missiles and large caliber rockets at keep-out altitudes that minimise collateral damage from debris. SkyCeptor’s next-generation multisensor seeker detects and tracks the most challenging ballistic missile and air defence threats in all types of weather, while maintaining precision hit-to-kill aim point selection at endgame. Its high energy three-pulse propulsion and agile steering allow for optimal intercept engagements along threat trajectories. It enables real-time retargeting in flight, and greatly extends the battle space of current air and missile defence systems.

SkyCeptor’s lethal hit-to-kill effects ensure a wide margin of tactical overmatch against a broad spectrum of current and projected air and missile defence threats.

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