The Japanese Government has agreed to allow the US to export a jointly developed ballistic missile interceptor, Standard missile-3 block 2A, to third countries.

The decision on the export will be announced early next month during the yet to take place security talks between the defence and foreign ministers of the respective countries.

SM-3 interceptors have been designed to track and engage intermediate-range ballistic missiles, and are fired from warships equipped with the Aegis air defence system.

The US plans to begin deploying the advanced version of the SM-3 system for the European missile defence shield in 2018, according to the Japan Times.

Japan’s position on the decision will be tested when the US considers exporting the interceptors to nations involved in conflicts.