Tokyo, Aug. 7 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Defense Ministry has started arrangements to drop a plan to book costs to build Aegis system-equipped destroyers in a request for government budget allocations for fiscal 2022 to be compiled at the end of this month, Jiji Press learned Saturday.
The postponement of the booking of the construction costs comes as the ministry’s operational and design policies for the vessels, which will be built as a substitute for an Aegis Ashore ground-based ballistic missile defense system, have yet to be fixed, government sources said.
The government decided last year to abandon its plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore system in the country, citing high costs and the time needed for ensuring safety of the system.
The ministry plans to use U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp.’s SPY-7 radar system, which had been selected for the Aegis Ashore system, for the new vessels and include necessary revamping costs such as those related to measures against salt damage in the fiscal 2022 budget request, the sources said.
It is said that some five years are needed to build a large vessel. The postponed booking of the construction costs suggests that it is unlikely for the new Aegis ships to come into service until fiscal 2027 or later.