[Tokyo 27th Reuters]-According to multiple government and defense sources, the Japanese government is required to conduct live-fire experiments to verify the ability of the land-based Aegis system (Aegis Ashore), at least 5 There is a possibility that it will be necessary to invest an additional $ 100 million (about 55 billion yen).
The source said, “We are waiting for an answer from the US Missile Defense Department about what kind of experiments the Japanese government needs,” and “These experiments are not yet budgeted.”
According to Lockheed Martin <LMT.N>, the developer of Aegis Ashore radar, this test is necessary to prove that the system is working properly. Because it is difficult to carry out in Japan, it is expected that a live launch experiment will be conducted at the US Navy base in Hawaii, in which case it will cost about $ 100 million per launch.
Japan agreed to purchase Aegis Ashore from the US in 2018. It adopted a radar designed by Lockheed and did not introduce a new US Navy radar provided by competing Raytheon <RTN.N>. One defense official pointed out, "The Japanese government thought that a mock test using a computer was sufficient, not a live launch experiment," he said.
According to the same source, the defense minister Gonori Onodera at the time did not think that Japan would need a live-fire test to test the Lockheed radar.
Minoru Iwaya, former defense minister, said last month that a short-range missile launched by North Korea appeared to be a new missile with an irregular orbit designed to break through ballistic missile defense networks, including Aegis Ashore. .
The Ministry of Defense says there are no comments so far.