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GOJ narrows down plans for intercepting enemy missiles  

  • September 20, 2020
  • , Asahi, Sankei , NHK
  • JMH Summary

Sunday’s Sankei gave top play to a report that it learned from several sources in the GOJ and the ruling camp on Saturday that the GOJ has narrowed down the alternatives to Aegis Ashore to those that can be conducted only at sea, as it has judged that it would be technically difficult to deploy a radar on land and intercept a missile from a destroyer at sea. The paper wrote that the GOJ is planning to explain its decision to the ruling camp on Thursday. According to the daily, the GOJ is studying such options as building a new Aegis-equipped vessel or deploying a destroyer dedicated to missile defense mounted with a land-based Aegis radar. The paper said the GOJ is planning to make a final decision by the end of this year and include it in the budget for FY2021. 


Today’s Asahi ran a similar story, conjecturing that the Defense Ministry is considering proposing to the ruling coalition the idea of installing an Aegis Ashore battery, including radar and interceptors, either on a destroyer, large commercial vessel, or oil rig-type structure. The ministry has reportedly concluded that a mobile seaborne platform would be the best alternative to the canceled deployment of a ground-based missile defense system. Meanwhile, NHK reported online this morning that it learned from GOJ officials that U.S. manufacturers have pointed out that although deploying Aegis radar and interceptors at sea is technically possible, it would not be rational as it would require a major overhaul and be too costly. The network added, however, that the ministry believes it would be extremely difficult to obtain local understanding for the deployment of radar and interceptors on land, speculating that the huge cost will become a major issue when considering the alternative sea-based plan. 


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