Japanese Cabinet Approves Two Aegis Ashore Systems Deployment

20 December, 2017, 01:22 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • North Korea begins tests to load anthrax onto ICBMs: report

Noting that North Korea's nuclear and missile development poses a "new level of threat" to Japan's security, the government said in a document endorsed by the Cabinet on Tuesday, "We need to fundamentally improve our ballistic missile defense abilities to protect our country at all times and in a sustainable manner".

Officials with the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs called the deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in Japan a violation of the treaty between the USSR and the United States, while Tokyo facilitates the initiative, Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

In case of failure, a second tier of missile defense will be involved to use the Patriot PAC-3 mobile ground-based systems that are supposed to intercept the missile at the final stage of its flight.

The two Aegis Ashore batteries, the land-based variant of the Aegis combat system, will strengthen Japanese defenses against China's and North Korea's growing ballistic and cruise missile arsenals.

Japan is now protected by destroyers equipped with US Aegis missile defense systems as well as surface-to-air Modernized Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) ballistic missile interceptors. The deployment of these systems is explained by the sharply increased missile threat from North Korea.


The complexes are to be deployed at range grounds of Japanese armed forces in northern and southwestern prefectures by 2023, but the terms for their deployment can be accelerated.

One Aegis Ashore unit is known to cost close to 100 billion yen which is about 966 billion won.

The country's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sided with US President Donald Trump, who had warned that every option including military action, was on the table to deal with Pyongyang.

The new Aegis stations may not, however, come with a powerful radar, dubbed Spy-6, which is being developed by the United States. And without it, Japan will not be able to fully utilize the extended range of a new interceptor missile, the SM-3 Block IIA, which cost about $30 million each. He suggested that his ministry aims for an early deployment of the system.

Japanese defense officials also considered purchasing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, another USA -built anti-missile system, but chose the Aegis Ashore due to its cost-effectiveness.

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