Japan orders further SM-3 interceptor missiles from US

Illustration: US Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) conducted two developmental flight tests of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) in May 2016. Photo: US Navy

The US State Department has approved the sale of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) anti-ballistic missiles to the the government of Japan, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on January 9.

Japan’s order is worth an estimated $133.3 million and includes four Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles and four MK 29 missile canisters used to launch guided missiles.

The principal contractors on this sale will be Raytheon Missile Systems for the interceptor missiles and BAE Systems for the MK 29 missile canisters.

JMSDF is capable of deploying the SM-3 missiles from its two classes of Aegis-equipped destroyers – four Kongo-class and the two more modern Atago-class destroyers.

Japan’s two next-generation Atago-class destroyers – the 27DDG destroyer – are also set to be equipped with the Aegis ship set.

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