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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8  > MSDF intercepts ballistic missile in test
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2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8 [SDF]

MSDF intercepts ballistic missile in test

December 19, 2007
The Defense Ministry on December 18 announced that the Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyer Kongo shot down a mock ballistic missile with the interceptor Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) in a test conducted off Hawaii.

It was the first time that a country other than the United States successfully intercepted a missile with an SM-3.

According to the Defense Ministry, the target missile was fired from the U.S. Naval missile range facility on Kauai Island. The Kongo then fired an SM-3 and destroyed the target at an altitude of more than 100 km.

The successful test has marked a new stage in Japan’s missile defense system.

There is an increasing danger that the MSDF Aegis ships will be mobilized to respond to ballistic missiles targeting the U.S. mainland together with the U.S. Aegis ships deployed to Japan. This goes against the Constitution which prohibits Japan from exercising the right of collective self-defense.

After North Korea’s missile test last year, the Defense Ministry moved up the deployment of the SM-3. It now plans to deploy by the end of FY 2010 two SM-3-equipped Aegis destroyers to the MSDF Sasebo Base (Nagasaki Pref.) and one each to the Maizuru Base (Kyoto Pref.) and the Yokosuka Base (Kanagawa Pref.).

The ministry also plans to deploy Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) interceptor missiles, which are already deployed to two locations in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, to 11 more locations throughout Japan by the end of FY 2012.
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