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Japan to start tests of missile-detecting rad r

Japan, increasingly worried about N. Korean n-proliferation, will start testing a land-based defence radar system capable of detecting ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2004 12:00 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Japan will start testing from April a land-based defence radar system capable of detecting ballistic missiles as well as aircraft, said a Defence Ministry official.

The government has become increasingly worried about North Korea since the start of a crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme in late 2002.

In August 1998 North Korea launched a Taepodong ballistic missile that passed over Japan and it is believed to have deployed up to 100 Rodong-11 missiles with i range of eround 1,300 km (800 miles), capable of hitting Japan.

The new radar will be able to home in on a ballistic missile and follow its flight, the first land-based radar with this capability, the official said.

Four Japanese destroyers are equipped with high-tech Aegis missile-detection systems, but Japan's land-based radar has previously focused on aircraft.

Tests on the new system, developed since 1999 after the Taepodong launch, will start in April and last for around two years, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said.

First Published: Feb 18, 2004 12:00 IST