Japan plans to build two new ships with Aegis systems to improve the missile defense system.
The United States is working with the Japanese Ministry of Defense on various options for deploying missile defense elements. This was announced by the director of the Agency for Missile Defense of the US Department of Defense, Vice Admiral John Hill, speaking on Friday at a briefing on the draft budget of the department for the 2022 fiscal year (begins on October 1, 2021).
As the Asahi newspaper reported on May 21, Japan plans to build two new ships with Aegis systems to improve the missile defense system. “We are working very closely with Japan to evaluate various options. At the moment, we are advising the Japanese Ministry of Defense to help decide on the future configuration of [military] equipment, how they can transfer it to a sea-based base.”
Japan previously intended to purchase two Aegis Ashore ground-based systems from the United States, designed to protect against ballistic missiles. However, last summer, Tokyo abandoned these plans. It was stated that when launching missiles from ground installations, it is impossible to guarantee the fall of their upper stages strictly within the military base or in the sea, which threatens the safety of the population.
Ships equipped with Aegis systems are considered as an alternative to ground-based systems. The ships can be equipped with SPY-7 radars manufactured by the American corporation Lockheed Martin, which must be delivered under previous contracts for the deployment of ground-based missile defense systems. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on January 18, the US plans to deploy anti-missile defense systems and medium-and shorter-range land-based missiles on the territory of Japan and the Republic of Korea threaten the security of the borders of Russia and China.