Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

Cruise Missile Interception Eyed for Aegis Ashore

Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

Cruise Missile Interception Eyed for Aegis Ashore

Article excerpt

The government is considering equipping planned ground-based Aegis Ashore systems with the capacity to intercept cruise missiles, in addition to the ability to defend against ballistic missiles.

With Chinese bombers making repeated flights in areas around Japan, the government believes it should also prepare for attacks by cruise missiles, multiple government sources said.

The government intends to introduce two Aegis Ashore systems in Japan by around fiscal 2023 as part of the effort to boost the nation's missile defenses.

These would be equipped with SM-3 Block IIA missiles, a new interceptor being jointly developed by Japan and the United States with the capacity to intercept ballistic missiles at altitudes exceeding 1,000 kilometers.

The government is also considering equipping the systems with SM-6 anti-air missiles, which are multifunction interceptors that also can take down cruise missiles.

In the United States, systems that can deal with low-altitude threats, such as from cruise missiles or fighter planes, as well as ballistic missiles are called "Integrated Air and Missile Defense."

The U.S. government is developing and deploying IAMD systems that include interceptor missiles and information-sharing systems.

The SM-6, a U.S.-developed anti-air missile, is the core of IAMD systems. Its range is said to be more than 300 kilometers, and it is able to respond to attacks using radar information provided by early-warning aircraft and other means. …

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