Friday, 28 January 2022

Japan to spend $4.2b on missile defence system radar

TOKYO: Japan said it would spend some $4.2 billion over the next 30 years on installing and operating US radar systems to protect itself against North Korean missile threats.

The move, announced by Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, is the latest step by Tokyo to upgrade its military. Japan says the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles pose a direct threat.

US firm Lockheed Martin has offered to build the radars needed for a new ground-based Aegis Ashore missile defence system at a cost of roughly 134 billion yen ($1.21 billion) for one unit, Onodera told reporters.

The combined expenditure for two units as well as maintenance and operational costs for the next 30 years was estimated at 466 billion yen ($4.2 billion), the defence ministry said.

That does not include expected additional costs involved with the system that have yet to be outlined.

“Our country’s ballistic missile defence capacity will significantly improve,” Onodera said.

“The cost is not fixed yet. We will examine the prices at every level possible,” he added.

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