The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale for the upgrade of Aegis combat systems to Japan, as part of its Atago-Class DDG-177 Atago and DDG-178 Ashigara ship modernisation programme.
As part of the sale, estimated to be worth $421m, Japan has also requested for the J6 Aegis weapon system computer programme, two multimission signal processors for existing AN/SPY-1D(V) radar, two common processor systems, two ship sets common display systems (44 OJ- 827(V)1 tri-screen display consoles and eight display processor cabinets.
The sale also includes a vertical launching system MK41 upgrade to baseline 7, four launch control units MK 235 Mod 7 with global positioning system integrators, two ship sets of gun weapon systems MK 34 and two ship sets of MK 20 electro-optical sensor systems.
The proposed package is part of the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the two nations to ensure peace and stability of the region.
Sale of modernisation or replacement of Aegis components will enhance Japan's ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities and significantly improve its air warfare capability.
Lockheed Martin MS2 will serve as the principal contractor.
The Aegis system is a high-performance phased array radar that integrates an advanced command and control system, a weapons control system (WCS), combined with powerful computers to search, detect and track more than 200 targets simultaneously.
The Atago-Class destroyers with the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) are to be succeeded by Kongo-Class guided missile destroyers.
The Aegis BMD is also deployed in five cruisers and 19 destroyers of the US Navy.
Image: The Aegis BMD preparing for launch. Photo courtesy of MDA.