Japan to build 2 additional Aegis destroyers for missile defense

In a press conference on Wednesday, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi announced that the government had come out in favor of the construction of two new AEGIS destroyers in order to replace the anti-missile defenses of the AEGIS ASHORE program that the Japanese authorities have decided to cancel after expert reports showed that missile fire would cause fallout from aerial elements on populated areas. After considering several options, including that of relocating the system ashore, transferring it to a naval platform, and even to a recycled commercial vessel to serve as a support, it is finally towards the most reliable solution, but also the most expensive, which Tokyo has turned around.

The new destroyers, the design of which will begin in 2021, will be larger than the 6 Aegis destroyers already in service in the Japanese Navy, and particularly than the last 2 destroyers of the Maya class, still weighing 8.200 tonnes empty. They will exceed, in fact, the 9.000 tons, making ships comparable to the American destroyers Arleigh Burke Flight III and the Chinese Type 055. The number of Mk41 vertical launch systems can therefore be expected to exceed 96 Maya cells, to potentially reach the 112 cells, like the Type 055. Focused mainly on anti-missile warfare, these ships will therefore receive a large number of SM3 missiles, which has recently demonstrated its effectiveness in the face of intercontinental ballistic systems, but also from Very versatile RIM-174 SM6, in which Tokyo is particularly interested.

The Japanese self-defense forces are particularly interested in the SM6 missile, capable of intercepting Chinese DF-21 and DF26 missiles, to equip Maya-class destroyers, and future Aegis heavy destroyers to be built.

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