US and Japanese forces are today conducting a flight-intercept test of Lockheed’s Aegis ballistic missile defence system from a Japanese naval destroyer, according to the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.
The test will be conducted off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii to show Japan’s ability to use a Raytheon SM-3 block IA missile against a separating, medium-range ballistic missile target, according to Reuters.
“It will verify the ability of the Japan Aegis BMD system to monitor and report ballistic missile track information and assess the ability of the Japan Aegis BMD system to plan a BMD mission in tactical situations,” the agency said.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force ship, the JS Kirishima, is the fourth of six Japanese Aegis destroyers to receive a US ballistic missile defence system amid North Korea’s increasing missile capability.
Japan is also jointly working with the US on development of SM-3 block 2A, a interceptor missile, for deployment by 2018.