Pentagon clears sale of SM-3 missiles to JMSDF

Illustration: US Navy file photo of an SM-3 missile launch

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of eight Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 1B missiles and thirteen SM-3 Block 2A missiles to Japan for an estimated cost of $561 million.

In an announcement on November 19, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the contract also included SM-3 1B and 2A missile canisters, technical assistance, engineering and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The principal contractor for the SM-3 Block 1B and 2A all up rounds will be Raytheon Missile Systems while the prime contractor for the Mk-21 and Mk-29 canisters and PHS&T kits will be BAE Systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The SM-3 sale follows a Japan Flight Test Mission-05 (JFTM-05) from September this year. During the ballistic missile defense system test, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force destroyer JS Atago launched a Standard Missile -3 Block IB Threat Upgrade (SM-3 Blk IB TU) missile to intercept the target missile above the Pacific Ocean.

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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