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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Japan Deploys New Missile Interception System on Aegis Destroyers - Reports

Sputnik News

14:23 11.01.2018(updated 17:58 11.01.2018)

TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan will use a new missile interception system on its two destroyers, equipped with US Aegis missile defense systems, which will enter operational service in 2019-2020, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Thursday, citing sources in the government.

The new information exchange system, developed by the United States, will allow using radar data from a destroyer equipped with Aegis system in order to intercept missiles by another destroyer, the newspaper reported. The current information exchange system is imperfect and requires additional radar guidance at the ship, which will conduct interception.

The Japanese government also considers a possibility to install this interception system on some other warships after carrying out a necessary technical upgrade, the news outlet added. Moreover, this new system can be also used at two US land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense systems, which are expected to be deployed to Japan by 2023.

The decision to deploy US Aegis Ashore systems on the country's territory, aiming to protect the Japanese citizens from the threat posed by a potential missile attack by North Korea, was announced on December 19, 2017. Tokyo plans to install the missile defense units in the prefectures of Akita and Yamaguchi.

The move prompted criticism of Russia, which stated that it would mean the undermining of the Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) by the US.

However, Japan responded that the country has no connection with the treaty, which had been signed by Moscow and Washington.

Japan is currently protected by four destroyers equipped with US Aegis missile defense systems carrying SM-3 intercept missiles as well as surface-to-air modernized Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) ballistic missile interceptors.

Sea-based Aegis systems are capable of intercepting a ballistic missile at altitudes of over 310 miles. Land-based Aegis systems have similar capabilities. Japan's missile defense is planned to be strengthened by equipping the Aegis systems with a new type of SM3 Block2A missile, the range of which is almost three times higher than those of the SM3.


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