The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 5 March that Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) has won a cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to its Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract for the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems ordered by Japan. With the move, the value of the contract has been increased by USD25.9 million to about USD3.21 billion, adding that work is estimated to be completed by 31 July in Moorestown, New Jersey.
The Aegis Ashore sites will be capable of firing the SM-3 Block IIA/Block IB interceptors as well as the supersonic SM-6 missile interceptors. The batteries are are expected to be stationed in Japan’s Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures. The combat system for Aegis Ashore Japan will be compatible with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Kaijō Jieitai) current Aegis naval fleet for full interoperability. Japan’s Aegis Ashore sites will feature the use of a Lockheed Martin advanced radar known as the Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR).
Outside of Japan, two Aegis Ashore sites — both operated by the United States — exist in Poland and Romania, which are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The European Aegis Ashore sites are designed to defend against limited ballistic missile threats from Iran. The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (Aegis BMD or ABMD) is a United States Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency program developed to provide missile defense against short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It is part of the United States national missile defense strategy.