Japan to purchase Aegis Ashore missile defense systems

Japan's purchase of 2 land-based Aegis (Aegis Ashore) Ballistic Missile Defense systems has been approved by the U.S. government. Lockheed Martin (Rotary and Mission Systems) is the primary contractor for this system, and General Dynamics will be in charge of the Command and Control Processor Refresh.

Japan to purchase Aegis Ashore missile defense systems Aegis Ashore installation firing a SM-3 at night (Picture source : Breaking Defense)

Through this contract, Lockheed will also be in charge of the providing of radio navigation equipment, IFF systems and construction services for 6 Vertical Launch System (VLS) launcher module enclosures.

This providing of 2 Aegis Ashore incrementations to Japan is to help the Japanese armed forces enhancing their self-defense capability, mainly against the North Korean threat. Japan is already in possess of Aegis systems and those 2 additional installations are to expand its ballistic missile defenses in its homeland.

As a reminder, the Aegis Ashore is only but a variant of the Aegis Afloat. Each Aegis Afloat has been fully tested ashore before transitioned to ship use. Therefore, building Aegis Ashore systems was just a formality for Lockheed. Aegis Ashore is built on operationally validated sea-based Aegis BMD technology and leverages the existing capability and proven track record of the Aegis system, currently operating on more than 100 ships at sea worldwide. It is often armed with the Standard Missiles 3 (SM-3).