Stocking up on Standards: Japan Buys Naval Defense-ABM Missiles
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a pair of requests from Japan for Standard-family naval air and missile defense systems. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $528 million.
The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) has four Kongo Class AEGIS destroyers operating with SM-2 missiles at sea; the 5th and 6th destroyers are under construction. Kongo Class ships with missile defense upgrades and SM-3 missiles will be combined with short-range land-based PAC-3 Patriot missiles to form the initial ballistic missile defense shield for mainland Japan.
The key deals and principal contractors will be:
A $458 million sale involving longer-range SM-3 missiles, which have performed relatively well in ABM tests over the past couple of years but require AEGIS combat system and radar upgrades to use properly. The Japanese are request 9 of the SM-3 Block IA Standard missiles with MK 21 Mod 2 canisters, plus ballistic missile defense upgrades to one AEGIS Weapon System, AEGIS BMD Vertical Launch System (VLS) alternations, containers, spare and repair parts, publications, documentation, supply support, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics support. They will receive data sufficient to maintain and support the systems. See DSCA release.
Based on other announcements that do confirm the exact ship, and assuming that the Japanese are upgrading their ship in order, the JMSDF destroyer JS Myoko [DDG-175] may be the target of this request.
Key contractors for this deal are:
- Lockheed-Martin Maritime System and Sensors in Moorestown, New Jersey (AEGIS system)
- Raytheon Company Equipment Division in Andover, MA (SM-3 Missiles)
- United Defense/ BAE Systems in Minneapolis, MN (Mk41 VLS)
The second sale is for $70 million if all options are exercised, and involves the shorter-range SM-2 Block IIIB Standard Missiles that serve as the mainstays of the Kongo Class’ air defense, as well as associated equipment and services. This sale covers:
- 20 SM-2 Block IIIB Tactical STANDARD missiles with MK 13 MOD 0 canisters
- 24 SM-2 Block IIIB Telemetry STANDARD missiles with MK 13 MOD 0 canisters and AN/DKT-71A telemeters
- Conversion kits and containers
- Spare and repair parts, supply support, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related elements of logistics support.
See DSCA release. The principal contractors for this deal will be:
- Raytheon Missile Systems Company in Tucson, AZ (SM-2 missiles)
- Raytheon Company of Camden, AK
- BAE of Minneapolis, MN and
- BAE subsidiary United Defense, Limited Partnership of Aberdeen, SD
This proposed sales are consistent with these U.S. objectives and with the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Indeed, Japan is actively pursuing a joint missile defense program with the USA, and already has the upgraded AEGIS Weapon System, SM-2 Block IIIB, and longer-range SM-3 Block IA Standard missiles in its inventory. Japan already maintains two Intermediate-Level Maintenance Depots capable of maintaining and supporting the SM-2, and is upgrading these facilities to maintain and support the newest SM variants. They’ve even worked with the USA to test an improved SM-3 variant recently, and will have no difficulty absorbing the additional equipment. As such, the Japanese do not need any US representatives or contractors on site for support.