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Japan To Buy $133M Of Interceptor Missiles Amid North Korea Nuclear Threat
12 January 2018, 10:27 | Cesar Cruz
State Department approves SM-3 IIA sale to Japan
The U.S. government has notified Congress of the newly proposed sale of anti-ballistic missiles to Japan, said the U.S. State Department on Tuesday.
"It would also follow through on President Trump's commitment to provide additional defensive capabilities to treaty allies threatened by the DPRK's [North Korea's] provocative behavior". After its latest ballistic missile test on November 28, Pyongyang claimed that its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Hwasong-15, is able to strike the whole United States mainland. This second Aegis destroyer will target a missile and fire an interceptor based on radar information provided by another Aegis vessel closer to the missile launch site.
On Dec. 19, 2017, the Japanese government announced its decision to deploy the Aegis Ashore systems on the country's territory in order to protect the Japanese citizens from the threat posed by a potential missile attack by North Korea. He argued that the continuation of a nuclear-armed North Korea was "absolutely unacceptable".
The system was jointly developed by Japan and the U.S.
The Trump administration announcement coincides with much anticipated high-level talks between Seoul and Pyongyang that were held in the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) on Tuesday.
Japan's only current land-based ballistic missile defense is the Patriot system, including Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles-and the PAC-3 is more of a point defense system, with much shorter range.
Close Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera speaks to reporters after inspecting a test complex for the Aegis Ashore system in Hawaii
The MSDF now has four Aegis destroyers for the nation's missile defense.
The principal contractors on the potential sale are Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems, DSCA said in a January 9 announcement.
The Japanese government aims to start operation of the Aegis Ashore in fiscal 2023 to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles amid the growing North Korean threat.
Combining these new interceptors with the new system will enable Aegis destroyers stationed at a distance to shoot down missiles fired toward Japan.
A Pentagon statement on the most recent call between Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Japan Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera on January 9 says the two men "condemned North Korea's reckless and unlawful behavior".
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