The State Department approved a possible $821 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) request to Japan for 246 SM-2 Block IIIB Standard missiles, equipment, and support.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential sale on July 15.

A Standard Missile (SM)-2 missile being launched from a naval vessel. Photo: Raytheon.
A Standard Missile (SM)-2 missile being launched from a naval vessel. Photo: Raytheon.

The request includes up to 246 Standard Missile (SM-2), Block IIIB Vertical Launching Tactical All-Up Rounds, RIM-66M-09. The sale would also include MK 13 MOD 0 Vertical Launching System Canisters, operator manuals and technical documentation, as well as U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services. The major defense equipment (MDE) portion of the sale is valued at $685 million.

The prime contractors for the sale are Raytheon [RTN] and BAE Systems.

Japan would use these missiles for anti-air warfare at sea, where it currently fields four Kongo-class and two Atago-class destroyers equipped with the Aegis Combat system and SM-2 Block IIIA/IIIB missiles, DSCA said. The agency highlighted the FMS missiles would be used in two new Aegis-equiped destroyers Japan is building based on a modified Atago-class hull as well as supplementing the country’s present missile inventory.

“Combined with the Aegis combat system, the SM-2 Block IIIB provides significantly enhanced area defense capabilities over critical East Asian and Western Pacific air and sea-lines of communication,” DSCA said in a statement.

It also noted that “It is vital to U.S. national interests that Japan develops and maintains a strong and ready self-defense capability.”

Implementation of the sale would not require the assignment of additional U.S. government and/or contractor representatives to Japan. DSCA also pointed out that Japan has two Intermediate-Level Maintenance Facilities capable of maintaining the SM-2 Block IIIB so it will have no difficulty absorbing new missiles into its inventory.