Japan to Enhance Missile Defenses with Land-Based SM-3
(Source: Forecast International; issued Aug 17, 2017)
TOKYO --- Japan plans to enhance its missile defense network with the addition of a land-based AEGIS Ashore system. The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) will seek funding in the next financial year for this system. The Japanese MoD had planned studies the installation of the AEGIS Ashore system, but has decided to move up the schedule.

Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force's AEGIS-equipped destroyers are equipped with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors. The Air Self-Defence Force operates the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC 3) interceptors.

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Japan to Install New Land-Based Aegis Missile Defense System
(Source: Xinhuanet; issued Aug 17, 2017)
TOKYO --- Japan's defense ministry is planning to install a defense system made in the United States known as "Aegis Ashore" to address ongoing concerns about tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday.

The defense ministry has, thus far, taken steps to counter any potential launches of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) by deploying high-tech Aegis advanced radar-equipped destroyers.

The Aegis system is designed to intercept missiles that are flying outside of the Earth's atmosphere, with the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Aegis destroyers charged with targeting them with their Standard Missile-3 interceptors.

In addition, the ministry has deployed its PAC-3 surface-to-air missile defense systems, as its second line of defense, that have the capability of intercepting missiles at lower altitudes as they reenter the earth's atmosphere.

In a push to bolster its missile defense systems, however, the defense ministry has moved up studies of the "Aegis Ashore" defense system to be funded by allocations in the next fiscal year, Kyodo News quoted government sources as saying.

The "Aegis Ashore" is a land-based version of the Aegis advanced radar system and uses the same technology as those fitted to MSDF Aegis destroyers.

The "Aegis Ashore" system consists of equipment including SPY-1 radars and a battery of Standard Missile-3s.

The system, defense analysts have said, has the potential to be permanently installed and the government is looking to funding allocations in the next fiscal year to cover the system design costs and those related to the upgrading of existing systems.

The ministry's current budget request included 105.6 billion yen (960.43 million U.S. dollars) on spending on an upgrade to its PAC-3 surface-to-air missile defense systems, with the ministry hoping to be able to extend the range of the missiles, as well as their precision, in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The budget also outlined plans to finance upgrades to the Aegis destroyers at a cost of 14.7 billion yen, defense analysts said.

Costs for the new land-based Aegis defense system will be included in the defense ministry's draft budget for next fiscal year, although the actual amount will be left blank until the end of the year, due to the need for further consultations with the U.S., sources close to the matter said Thursday.

The ministry is also planning to bring forward a plan to buy another Aegis-equipped destroyer, from the end of last year, to the end of March 2018, it said.

Once the acquisition has been made, the MSDF will have a total of 5 Aegis-equipped destroyers by the end of this year, the ministry said.

The defense ministry is also going to set up a new kind of radar system to defend satellites used by Japan and the United States to, among other things, detect ballistic missiles, from "space debris," it said.

The new "space unit", the ministry said, will operate under the auspices of the Self-Defense Force.

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