The State Department approved a potential $450 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS)of 32 Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) Block I missiles and related equipment on Thursday.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress on Oct. 20.

The FMS includes 32 SM-6 Block I missiles in two tranches of 16 each as well as MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) canisters; obsolescence engineering, integration and test activity; canister handling equipment, spares, training, and associated logistics and program support. 

An SM-6 is launched from the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) during Flight Test Standard Missile-27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2) to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile (MBRB) target in 2017. (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)

The primary contractor will be missile producer Raytheon Technologies [RTX].

DSCA said Japan will use the missiles to improve its air and ballistic missile defense capabilities against potential regional adversaries as well as “provide the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance with the latest and most advanced capabilities, reducing Japan’s reliance on U.S. Forces for the defense of Japan and further improving U.S.-Japan military interoperability. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.”

Japan is currently one of two non-U.S. countries that has sought SM-6 missiles and currently fields them. 

Last year, the State Department approved a $350 million deal to sell Australia SM-6 and SM-2 Block IIIC missiles, making it the third purchaser of the missiles (Defense Daily, Aug. 25, 2021).

In 2019, the Navy awarded Raytheon a $1.03 billion multi-year procurement contract for full rate SM-6 production covering fiscal years 2019 to 2023 (Defense Daily, Dec. 26, 2019).