Japan to spend billions USD on Aegis air defense radars
On 30 July, Japan declared it would spend some USD 4.2 billion over the next thirty years on purchasing and operating US radar systems to protect its territory against North Korean ballistic missile threats which appear to keep stable, if not growing.
Lockheed Martin has offered to build the radars needed for a new ground-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system (Picture source: Japanese MoD)
Lockheed Martin has offered to build the radars needed for a new ground-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system at a cost of roughly ¥134 billion for one unit. The combined expenditure for two units as well as maintenance and operational costs for the next 30 years was estimated at ¥466 billion, the defence ministry said. That does not include expected additional costs.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has firmly argued for the upgrading of the nation's armed forces in light of threats from North Korea, which has several times fired missiles over Japan and into waters near the country. Abe is maintaining a hardline position against Pyongyang.
The Aegis radar purchase comes as trade tensions between the US and Japan cast a shadow over the friendship between the country's leaders that Abe has pursued. President Trump has pushed Tokyo to buy more US products, including military equipment, but has angered allies including Japan recently with trade tariffs. Japan's military has long been restricted to self-defence and the country relies heavily on the US under a bilateral security alliance.