Japan’s Defense Ministry has decided to consider introducing a new US-made missile defense system known as “Aegis Ashore” in light of progress in North Korea’s missile development, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Japan is prepared for North Korea’s possible launches of ballistic missiles by deploying a destroyer equipped with the Aegis advanced radar system and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor missile units, NHK said.
The Aegis advanced radar system is designed to intercept a missile outside the atmosphere and a land-based PAC-3 system is capable of intercepting a missile entering the atmosphere.
However, the Ministry is considering ways to strengthen the country’s missile defense capabilities as Pyongyang is advancing the technology to launch a ballistic missile.
The Aegis Ashore is a land-based version of the Aegis advanced radar system, the report said, adding that the ministry will include related costs for the new system in drafting a budgetary request for next fiscal year. It is also planning to increase the number of destroyers equipped with the Aegis advanced radar system from the current four to five by the end of this year, bringing forward the original plan by the end of March of 2018.
The Ministry will begin setting up a new radar system to protect artificial satellites used by Japan and the US from “space debris” as well as developing another radar system to detect stealth fighters.