The US State Department has approved a sale of four Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles for an estimated cost of $133.3 million to Japan, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Tuesday.
The possible sale also includes 4 MK 29 missile canisters, U.S. Government and contractor representatives' technical assistance, transportation, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support, the release said.
DSCA explained that this sale will provide Japan with an increased ballistic missile defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional munitions and support into the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).
The principal contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ (SM-3); and BAE Systems, Minneapolis, MN (MK 29), it added.
Japan has plans to expand its missile shield with Aegis systems amid growing nuclear threats from North Korea. Last month, the Japanese government approved the purchase and deployment of two Aegis Ashore batteries at the cost of some $2 billion, which is expected to be put into operation by 2023.