Japanese Navy to get Raytheon Standard Missile 6 Block I (SM-6 BLK I) air defense missiles

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on October 20 that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) Block I missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this sale.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 USS Navy Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) launches a RIM-174 Standard ERAM (Standard Missile-6, SM-6) during a live-fire test of the ship's Aegis weapons system in the Pacific Ocean. (Picture source: U.S. Navy/Wikipedia)

The Government of Japan has requested to buy up to thirty-two (32) Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) Block I missiles (in two tranches of 16). Also included are Mk 21 Vertical Launch System (VLS) canisters; obsolescence engineering, integration and test activity; canister handling equipment, spares, training and training equipment/aids; technical publications/data; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program cost is $450 million.

The proposed sale will improve Japan’s air defense and ballistic missile defense capabilities against potential adversaries in the region. It will also provide the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance with the latest and most advanced capabilities, reducing Japan's reliance on U.S. Forces for the defense of Japan and further improving U.S.-Japan military interoperability.

The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense (RMD), Tucson, AZ. Implementation of this proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor personnel to visit Japan on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical oversight and support requirements, including program and technical reviews, as well as to provide training and maintenance support in Japan.

The RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), or Standard Missile 6 (SM-6), is a missile in current production for the U.S. Navy. It was designed for extended-range anti-air warfare (ER-AAW) purposes providing capability against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-ship cruise missiles in flight, both over sea and land, and terminal ballistic missile defense. It can also be used as a high-speed anti-ship missile. The missile uses the airframe of the earlier SM-2ER Block IV (RIM-156A) missile, adding the active radar homing seeker from the AIM-120C AMRAAM in place of the semi-active seeker of the previous design. This will improve the capability of the Standard missile against highly agile targets, and targets beyond the effective range of the launching vessels' target illumination radars. The initial operating capability was planned for 2013 and was achieved on 27 November 2013. The SM-6 is not meant to replace the SM-2 series of missiles but will serve alongside and provide extended range and increased firepower. It was approved for export in January 2017.