World Bulletin / News Desk
The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) has successfully test-fired the Chu-SAM Kai surface-to-air missile, destroying 10 out of ten targets at the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
WSMR is a premiere location for missile and air defense system testing, and the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force takes full advantage of the range annually to conduct the acceptance test for their existing Chu-SAM missiles.
Chu-SAM is a medium range surface-to-air guided missile system developed and produced domestically in Japan.
The Chu-SAM Kai is an improved type of the Chu-SAM system equipped by the JGSDF, and has been undergoing evaluation since 2014 including the series of launches at White Sands Missile Range. Like other air defense systems of its type, Chu-SAM uses a combination of separate components, including command centers, radars, and launchers to create a single system. Chu-SAM Kai uses improved sensor and networking features, compared to the Chu-SAM, giving the system better range and allowing the system to target and destroy more complex threats like cruise and anti-surface missiles, while reducing system costs.
The test took advantage of WSMR's large size and controlled airspace, as well as its extensive instrumentation and data collection capabilities.
"We don't have the kind of ranges in Japan needed to satisfy the requirements of the Chu-SAM Kai tests," said Kazuhiro Tobo, Chu-SAM Kai test commander with the Technical Research & Developmental Institute. "Also, Kai is a complex system in which each sensor is networked to intercept anti-aircraft threats."
The test, which saw 100 percent of its targets successfully intercepted, impressed even the experienced WSMR test team.
"The Japanese test team we work with is excellent, they are highly experienced and trained to know what they need to succeed." said Henry Sedillo, WSMR's Chu-SAM Kai Test Officer.