Japanese ship fired SM-3 Block IIA interceptor for the first time
TOKYO ($1=141.22 Japanese Yens) — Japan and the US are stepping up their defense cooperation. Against the background of the real existing threats from North Korea and Kiat, such cooperation is not only understandable, but also mandatory. BulgarianMilitary.som recalls that another ballistic missile was launched just days ago by Pyongyang. This year, North Korea broke all its records by conducting the most missile tests. You even have the case of a ballistic missile flying over all of Japan.
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The threat is real, tensions are rising, and although the focus is currently shifting to the war in Ukraine, tensions in the Asia Pacific region should not be overlooked. Japan has announced that in the coming years it will invest significantly in improving the capabilities of the missile inventory, as well as in the development of hypersonic weapons to ensure security or respond to an enemy strike.
In this regard, Raytheon Missiles & Defense in cooperation with the Japan Self-Defense Force has been developing the SM-3 Block IIA missile for quite some time. This is an American product completely developed for the needs of Japan. There are significant differences from the standard Raytheon SM Block IIA missile. For example, the Japanese version has a more powerful and larger engine. This would allow Japanese forces to repel an attack at greater distances. Also not to be underestimated is the improved kinetic warhead of the SM-3 Block IIA. According to Raytien, with the new warhead, the missile has better search, tracking, interception and acquisition capabilities.
A Nov. 21 press release from Raytheon Missiles & Defense says the Japanese have already conducted a test of the missile. This is the first time this missile has been fired from a Japanese warship. This is also the first time the test has been conducted outside the US or US territorial waters. The targets were short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. The company reports that the missiles fired have successfully intercepted all targets.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense claims the SM-3 Block IIA is the world’s most advanced and effective sea-to-surface ballistic missile interceptor. The tests conducted by the Japanese military and the US company are key to the rampant joint operations against adversaries. By acquiring the SM-3 Block IIA, Japan will not only be able to rely on the performance of the effective weapon, but thanks to its compatibility with other Western weapon systems, it will enable Japan to rely on allied support.
The SM-3 IIA was first tested in 2017. Since then, the missile has participated in several NATO exercises, the most memorable being in 2019. The missile then flew, firing two types of ballistic missiles both times. However, this missile is becoming not only a strong Japanese deterrent against future threats, but also a strong defensive tool in Europe. According to Raytheon, the missile will assume its central deterrence role in Poland, completing Phase 3 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach.
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