The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of MK 15 Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) Block IB Baseline 1 to MK 15 Phalanx Block IB Baseline 2 conversion kits to Japan.

The probable FMS has an estimated value of $45m. The deal was requested by the Government of Japan and has been approved by the US State Department.

Japan intends to procure 24 units of the MK 15 Phalanx CIWS Block IB conversion kit under the planned agreement.

"Japan intends to procure 24 units of the MK 15 Phalanx CIWS Block IB conversion kit under the planned agreement."

The FMS also includes the delivery of support equipment, spare parts, publications, software and associated support, in addition to logistical support services and other associated logistical and programme support.

The possible deal is anticipated to help enhance national security in Japan, which in turn is expected to benefit the foreign policy and national security of the US.

In addition, Japan intends to use the new upgraded capability to address and fight against regional threats and bolster its homeland defence operations, thereby enhancing the country’s ability in current and future defensive efforts.

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Raytheon Missile Systems, based in Tucson, Arizona, has been appointed to serve as the principal contractor for the sale.

The Phalanx CIWS is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun that can be used against anti-ship missiles and other close-in threats both on land and at sea.

The weapon system is capable of automatically carrying out a variety of functions such as search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement and kill assessment, which usually require multiple systems to perform efficiently.