The JMSDF (Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force) is working closely with the USA on missile defense activities. Air Force cooperation has also improved by leaps and bounds, allowing for much closer coordination with the USA in all aspects of operations – including missile tracking.
Japanese involvement includes modification and improvements to the SM-3 long-range anti-air/ABM missile. This weapon will form the outer layer of Japan’s ABM system, deployed from its current fleet of 4 Kongo Class AEGIS destroyers and their 2 larger Atago Class successors. The inner layer will consist of land-based Japan Self Defense Forces PAC-3 Patriot missiles, and together they will form the initial ballistic missile defense architecture for mainland Japan.