Japan’s Board of Audit has discovered that the country’s Maritime Self-Defense Force has 1 billion yen (US$ 8.8m) worth of inoperable shipborne missiles that remained in storage beyond the warranty period, according to a local news site.
The audit report dicovered the issue with the short-range RIM-162 Evolved Seasparrow missiles, a source close to the matter told Mainichi Shimbun.
During the Board of Audit's examination of Seasparrow parts delivered over the past several years, inspectors found that assembly facilities at the MSDF's Sasebo and Yokosuka bases did not have sufficient skills to put the missiles together. As a result, parts have remained in storage beyond the warranty period without ever being tested for operability, the report says. It is unknown how much repairs will add to the bill.
The Japanese government spent a total of some 101.1 billion yen on Seasparrow parts in the 10 years ending fiscal 2015 (not counting fiscal 2014). The supply contract warranty states that if a fault is found within a year of the parts' delivery, then the MSDF can bill the maker for the cost of repairing or replacing it regardless of the cause.
The MSDF has stated that it will "endeavor to implement appropriate improvement and maintenance measures so that no similar problems occur in the future," and pledged to assemble and test the Seasparrows before the part warranties expire.