The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of Standard Missile (SM)-6 Block-I missiles to Japan.

Valued at approximately $450m, the FMS has already been approved by the US State Department.

The package involves a total of 32 SM-6 Block-I missiles along with associated equipment and support.

It also includes MK 21 Vertical Launch System (VLS) canisters, spares, canister handling equipment and the required engineering, integration, test activity, training and training equipment support.

Other aids and support requested by the Government of Japan include technical publications and data, the US Government and contractor engineering, technical support, logistical services and other related components of programme support.

The assigned prime contractor for this FMS is Raytheon Missiles and Defense.

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Delivery will be conducted in two separate tranches of 16 SM-6 missiles each.

The DSCA said in a statement: “This proposed sale will support foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the US by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region.”

This deal will also enhance the air defence and ballistic missile capabilities of Japan’s military forces to safeguard their homeland from potential threats.

According to the agency, the FMS aims to equip Japanese forces with advanced capabilities to deter adversaries, further allowing the country to minimise dependence on the US forces for defending Japan under the US-Japan security alliance.

The latest sale comes amid the existing tensions with North Korea (DPRK).

The DPRK recently conducted multiple test-firing of its short-range ballistic missile, one of which was reported to have followed ‘an irregular trajectory’, falling near Japan’s exclusive economic zone.