The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Japan worth $1.15 billion for up to 56 Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missiles.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential sale on Tuesday.
The sale covers the 56 SM-3 IB All Up Round missiles as well as missile canisters, U.S. government and contractor technical assistance, engineering and logistical support services, and other related program support.
The primary contractor will be Raytheon [RTN] while the main contractor for the cannisters is BAE Systems.
DSCA said this sale will help provide Japan with a greater ballistic missile defense capability to defend Japan and U.S. personnel stationed there. It noted Japan will have nodifficulty absorbing the missiles and that it is vital to U.S. national security to assist Japan in maintaining this kind of self-defense capability.
The agency said implementation of the sale will require an undisclosed number of U.S. government and contractor representatives to make annual trips to Japan for technical reviews, support, and oversight for about five years.
Last September, a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer conducted a successful Aegis missile defense intercept test using the SM-3 IB off the coast of Hawaii. That was the first Japanese test of the SM-3 IB (Defense Daily, Sept. 12, 2018)
Japan currently fields the SM-3 Block IA on its Kongo-class and Atago-class Japanese destroyers, but has not used the Block IB before the September test.
The SM-3 IB has improvements such as an improved two-color seeker and an upgraded throttling divert and attitude control system to help it target a larger set of missile threats.
The SM-3 IB is currently fielded on the first Aegis Ashore site in Romania as well as on U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.