Japan’s Ministry of Defense has disclosed that the cost for two batteries of the Aegis Ashore missile interception system it intends to procure from the United States is over 200 billion yen (US$ 1.7 Billion) which will be added to the national budget from fiscal 2019 onwards.
The government has formed a ballistic missile interception system consisting of Standard Missile (SM)-3 interceptors aboard Aegis-equipped vessels and movable land-based Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 interceptors. FPS-5 warning and control radars have also been prepared. Combined with command control and communications systems, the total amount spent between fiscal 2004 and 2017 has reached around 1.845 trillion yen, the Mainichi Daily reported today.
The budget request for fiscal 2018 sets aside a total of about 179.1 billion yen for the purchase and maintenance of items including new, long-range SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, improved PAC-3s and FPS-7 warning and control radars, which can respond to both ballistic missiles and aircraft.
As for the Aegis Ashore system that the Cabinet is expected to approve on Dec. 19, some 700 million yen will be set aside in the draft budget for fiscal 2018 along with about 3 billion yen in the draft supplementary budget for fiscal 2017 for research and other related expenses. Expenses for full-scale implementation of the system will be listed up in fiscal 2019 or later, with a view to deploy the system in fiscal 2023. Japan also intends to introduce cutting-edge radar for the Aegis Ashore system being developed by a U.S. company.
The bulk of the Aegis Ashore system will be provided to Japan under the U.S. Department of Defense's Foreign Military Sales program. As such, there is a possibility that Japan could be compelled to pay the asking price of the U.S. government, causing the cost of the system to swell. Under the draft budget for fiscal 2018, it is expected that Japan's defense spending will increase for the sixth year in a row, reaching a total of around 5.15 trillion yen, partly due to the increase in ballistic missile defense expenditure.
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