Japan has successfully conducted the first-ever shipboard firing trial of its developmental railgun counter-hypersonic weapon.
The country’s Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics Agency (ATLA) shared a video of the milestone, showing the electromagnetic weapon on board a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel.
The weapon can be seen firing an unspecified number of rounds into the ocean.
According to ATLA, the trial achieved its desired results, including confirming the railgun’s compatibility with the Japanese vessel.
It also allowed the defense ministry to obtain necessary data on the effects of ship-mounting an electromagnetic weapon.
“To protect vessels against air-threats and surface-threats with high-speed bullets, ATLA strongly promotes early deployment of railgun technology,” the country’s defense procurement and research arm said.
Part of Tokyo’s Defense Buildup Program approved in 2022, the railgun project aims to improve the country’s ability to intercept various airborne threats, including hypersonic missiles.
It has a total budget of 22.5 billion yen ($150 million) for 2022 and 2023 and another 23.8 billion yen ($159 million) for 2024.
During the initial research phase, a railgun projectile generated a speed of 2,300 meters (7,546 feet) per second, 600 meters (1,968 feet) per second faster than current missile interceptors.
In April, Tokyo announced it was considering a partnership with the US on the multi-million-dollar project.