State Department approves $133.3M missile sale to Japan

Jan. 10 (UPI) — The State Department has approved the potential $133.3 million foreign military sale of Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missiles to Japan.

The deal, announced on Tuesday, is set to provide the government of Japan with four Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missiles, along with four Mk 29 missile canisters, if approved by the U.S. Congress, which has been notified of the potential sale.

The contract will also provide U.S. government and contracted technical assistance, along with transportation, engineering and logistics support services, the Pentagon said in a press release.

The Raytheon produced Standard Missile-3 Interceptor is a defensive weapon used to destroy short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The missiles are fired out of the Mk 29 Sea Sparrow Guided Missile Launching System that can be deployed on land and sea.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency says the proposed sale will “contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that has been, and continues to be, a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The sale is aimed at bolstering the ballistic defense capability for Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force, though the DSCA said the sale of equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Raytheon is tapped to produce the SM-3 missiles, while BAE Systems will provide the launching canisters.

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