JMSDF’s JS Atago destroyer conducts Aegis system flight test

14 September 2018 (Last Updated September 14th, 2018 15:01)

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has successfully tested an upgraded Aegis combat weapon system from on-board the service’s Atago-class-guided missile destroyer JS Atago (DDG-177).

JMSDF’s JS Atago destroyer conducts Aegis system flight test
JS Atago (DDG-177) successfully completed an Aegis ballistic missile defence intercept flight test off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Credit: Missile Defense Agency.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has successfully tested an upgraded Aegis combat weapon system from on-board the service’s Atago-class-guided missile destroyer JS Atago (DDG-177).

Supported by the US Navy, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Lockheed Martin, the Japanese Flight Test Mission-05 tested the ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability of JMSDF for the first time.

Conducted off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, US, the exercise successfully demonstrated the organic engagement of a simple separating target.

Under modernisation effort of DDG-177, the navy vessel’s Aegis weapon system combines the JMSDF’s BMD capability with an integrated air and missile defence capability using commercial-off-the-shelf and open architecture technologies, including the Aegis Common Source Library (CSL).

Lockheed Martin Aegis International Programmes Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors director Mary Keifer said: “I commend the JMSDF for their commitment to affordability and innovation.

“This baseline modernisation effort streamlined their lifetime support costs and provided a means to gain advanced BMD capability.”

“This baseline modernisation effort streamlined their lifetime support costs and provided a means to gain advanced BMD capability.”

The successful completion of the Aegis flight test builds upon joint research investments made by the US and Japan.

Lockheed Martin is currently developing a Baseline 9 variant computer programme to be used on the newest Aegis destroyers being constructed for the Japanese maritime force.

The 560ft-long JS Atago is the first international vessel to benefit from the CSL, which ensures enhanced interoperability across the JMSDF fleet, reducing development training and sustainment costs while increasing flexibility in crew assignments.

Developed by Lockheed, the weapon system can be deployed to simultaneously attack land targets, submarines and surface vessels while automatically safeguarding the fleet against aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.