Japan and the United States plan to jointly developing a new radar system for US Navy’s Aegis-equipped warships to counter threats from North Korea and China.
Japan faces nuclear and missile threats from North Korea, is hoping to strengthen its security alliance with the United States through the joint development, Mainchi reported quoting unnamed sources as saying Sunday
The coordination by the two countries for the plan aimed at combating new weapons, including hypersonic missiles being developed by China and Russia, has entered the final phase, the report stated.
Japan's development together with the US of the SM-3 Block 2A interceptor was completed this month and it has moved into production.
The new radar system to provide 360 degrees of surveillance on the warships is expected to be the next pillar of Japan's defense collaboration with the United States.
The warships plan to have two different types of air and missile defense radar in the future. One is AN/SPY-6, with an upgraded radar to be used to detect high-altitude threats, which is on schedule to be delivered starting in 2020.
Currently, the AN/SPQ-9B system is used to detect and track low-flying threats. But it is a traditional rotating radar that cannot completely avoid having blind spots.
The new radar to be developed by Japan and the US will be a non-rotating system, according to the sources.
The US Navy recently ordered five more AN/SPQ-9B units for $21.5 million, according to US media reports. The new system could be even more expensive.