Anti-missile defense: Japan cancels purchase of two Aegis Ashore systems

In December 2017, Japan Approves Construction of Two Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Sites to counter the North Korean but also Chinese ballistic threat. Particularly strategic for Japanese deterrence policy, these two Aegis Ashore systems were intended to cover the entire Japanese territory thanks to the very long-range SM-3 Block IIA missiles.

Last week, however, Japan announced that it wanted to renounce this acquisition. The argument put forward is the risk posed by the first stage (booster) of the SM-3 missile, which could fall on an inhabited area in certain firing configurations. Modifying the missiles to avoid such accidents would have resulted in an additional cost of $ 1,87 billion, for a project with an initial cost estimated at $ 2,15 billion. A bill far too high for Tokyo, which would have decided to stop the costs.

This photo makes it possible to distinguish the propulsion phase by the missile booster, as well as its fall back to the ground. The particular geography of Japan, very densely populated, makes the installation of missile systems particularly complex.

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