Another Successful Test of the Japanese Aegis Destroyer Atago

WASHINGTON, the USA (, 13 September 2018, Editor: Bm Team, Photo credit: MC2 Jon Dasbach, US Navy/The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Atago-class guided missile destroyer JS Atago departs Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam to support Rim of the Pacific 2010.

The US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) announced in a release that the Japanese Aegis destroyer Atago successfully detected and shot down a short-range ballistic missile in space on Tuesday, 11 September 2018, in a joint test with the U.S. Navy using the SM-3 Block IB missile, learned

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The MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves commented, “This successful test is a major milestone verifying the capabilities of an upgraded Aegis BMD configuration for Japan’s destroyers. This success provides confidence in the future capability for Japan to defeat the developing threats in the region.”

The Atago was recently upgraded for the purposes of supporting ballistic missile defence missions. The Atago class of guided missile destroyers is an improved version of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force’s Kongō class. It is similar in capabilities and appearance to a U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

According to the release, the goal of the test, which was carried out at Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands in Hawaii, was to test the installation of the capability in Atago’s combat system. Together with that latest test, AEGIS missile defence is reported to have 38 successful tests of 47 in total. Two recent tests of Block IIA failed, due to a sailor error, which caused the missile to self-destruct during one of them and a failure in the boost-phase rocket motor during the other one.

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Presently the Japanese have been fielding the SM-3 IA and is working to co-develop with the United States the SM-3 Block IIA. The SM-3 IB is widely used throughout the US Fleet and is fielded at the AEGIS Ashore facility of the US Navy in Romania.

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