The US Defense Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on Dec 9 that the US supervision plans to concede the sale of 4 Raytheon Standard SM-3 Block IIA missiles and concordant Mk 29 launch canisters from BAE Systems to Japan. The estimated cost will be $133.3 million. The US State Department has authorized the sale, and the DSCA has told Congress of the tentative sale.
The SM-3 Block IIA is the latest chronicle of the US Navy’s air invulnerability missile, used by ships versed with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD) system. The missiles can potentially be used to fire down ballistic missiles in flight, even outward the Earth’s atmosphere. In theory, the new missiles would give Japan a better shot at sharpened down a ballistic barb arcing over Japan.
The sale comes on the heels of the Japanese National Diet’s capitulation of a devise to build an Aegis Ashore barb invulnerability complement (the National Diet is Japan’s parliamentary-style bicameral legislature). That complement would be formed on the land-based barb invulnerability comforts the US Navy has deployed in Romania and is scheming to activate in Poland. Japan’s only stream land-based ballistic barb invulnerability is the Patriot system, including Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles—and the PAC-3 is some-more of a indicate invulnerability system, with much shorter range.
At sea, Japan has formerly deployed the SM-3 Block IB—a barb with a operation of some-more than 700 km (380 miles)—aboard the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF’s) Aegis-capable destroyers. By comparison, the Block IIA has a operation of 2,500 km, or 1,350 miles. The extended operation would concede for a aloft luck of an prevent of a North Korean missile—and a few moments some-more to respond, as it would somewhat enhance the window for a shoot-down (but just slightly). It would also concede Japan to urge against North Korean missiles but deploying Aegis-capable launch ships close to North Korean waters.
Additionally, the barb sale and the compulsory formation work compared with the deployment will urge the JMSDF’s interoperability with US barb invulnerability systems, permitting the JMSDF to confederate with the US Navy in invulnerability of US installations in the Western Pacific—including Guam, which is in operation of North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missiles.