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Japan’s military unit to make pilot-less fighter planes to counter China

By ET news

With an eye on China and visualising the future of warfare, Japan has begun to develop a remote-controlled fighter aircraft which will be ready for deployment in 2035. Nikkei Asia is reporting that the 15-year project has acquired urgency to counter China’s cascading advancement of hi-tech weaponry.

Currently, Tokyo stands outmanned and outgunned by its larger neighbour, the daily observes. It points out that China possesses more than 1,000 fourth-generation fighter jets that can reach supersonic speeds, about triple as many as Japan. It has also begun deploying fifth-generation stealth fighters.

Japan’s Defence Ministry plans to introduce fighter drones in three stages – first, those that are remote-controlled, then “teaming” operations where one manned plane would control several drones, and ultimately for use in completely unmanned and autonomous squadrons.

Autonomous weapons require advanced machine-learning capabilities, and international rules have yet to catch up to the technology.

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