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Japan will acquire 73 US-made SM-3 Block IIA ship-based missiles


The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of up to seventy-three (73) Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA with support for an estimated cost of $3.295 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 27, 2019.


Japan will acquire 73 US made SM 3 Block IIA ship based missiles 925 001 A target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii during Flight Test Standard Missile-45. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the USS John Finn (DDG-113) launched an SM-3 Block IIA guided missile which intercepted the target. (Picture source Raytheon)


The Government of Japan has requested to buy up to seventy-three (73) Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles. Also included are MK 29 Canisters with packing, handling, storage, and transportation (PHS&T) kits; up to ten (10) Special Assignment Airlift Mission (SAAM) flights; U.S. Government and contractor representatives' technical assistance, engineering and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $3.295 billion.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. It is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability.

The proposed sale will provide Japan with increased ballistic missile defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces.

The prime contractor for the SM-3 Block IIA All Up Rounds will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona. The prime contractor for the MK 29 Canisters and PHS&T kits will be BAE Systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The SM-3 is a ship-based missile system used by the United States Navy to intercept short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.[5] Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an anti-satellite capacity against a satellite at the lower end of low Earth orbit.

The SM-3 block IIA is a joint Raytheon/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries project, block IIA will add a larger diameter kill vehicle that is more maneuverable, and carries another sensor/ discrimination upgrade.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require annual trips to Japan involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews, support, and oversight for approximately five years.