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Japan poised to gain from double FMS

5th August 2021 - 10:52 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US State Department has approved two FMS deals for the Japanese navy. (Photo: USN)

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force is on track to receive more Rolling Airframe Missiles plus contractor support for the Aegis missile defence system.

The US State Department on 4 August announced it has approved two FMS deals for Japan worth a combined $195.5 million.

Pending final approval from Congress, the larger deal would see Lockheed Martin provide $134 million of wide-ranging follow-on technical support for Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyers armed with the Aegis missile defence system.

Services would include software patches ‘and adaptation data support' that is 'vital to the effective and safe operations of the Aegis Combat Systems (ACS) suite’, the State Department noted in justifying its approval.

It added: ‘The in-country engineering and emergent support will assist JMSDF to address any malfunctions or faults that may arise with the ACS suite.’

Shephard Defence Insight notes that the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force operates eight Aegis-equipped vessels: four Kongō-class destroyers, two Atago-class destroyers and two new Maya-class destroyers (the second of which was commissioned in March 2021).

Under the other FMS deal for Japan announced on 4 August, Raytheon Missiles & Defense would provide up to 44 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 RIM-116C missiles and related equipment, plus technical and logistics support, for an estimated $61.5 million.

The proposed deal would ‘significantly’ enhance JMSDF area defence capabilities over critical East Asian and Western Pacific air and sea lines of communication, the State Department noted. 

The JMSDF already operates RAM Block 2.

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