Washington: After implementing the Aegis air defence system in Japan, the United States has taken a decision to supply 56 supersonic missiles to its ally. The US State department announced the decision to supply 56 SM-3 ballistic missiles to Japan. The United States claimed that the missiles would improve the air defence capability of Japan and the security of the US soldiers stationed there. The US media have claimed that this decision is in view of the increasing Chinese aggression in the region.
Augmenting its defence preparedness, Japan has stressed on purchase of advanced weapon systems from the United States. US President Donald Trump also has prioritised the supply of advanced weapon systems to Japan. As a part of this cooperation, the US State department announced the supply of 56 missiles, worth USD 1.5 billion to Japan. The US Department of State has cleared the collaboration for Standard Missile-3 Block IB (SM-3) missiles with Japan.
Under this collaboration agreement, the United States will be providing the technological cooperation and logistical assistance to Japan, along with the missiles. The SM-3 missiles are used to target the ballistic missiles of the enemy. In the tests conducted by the US defence forces, the SM-3 missiles have been successful in targeting ballistic missiles mid-air. Therefore, it is claimed that the acquisition of these missiles will strengthen the Japanese air defence. Before this, in the month of January, the United States had announced supply of two advanced air defence systems, Aegis, to Japan. The SM-3 missiles will be used with these Aegis systems. Currently, Aegis has been installed on the US warships deployed in Japan. But the Aegis purchased by Japan will be installed on land. The system and the supersonic missiles will be installed on the Akita and Yamaguchi islands of Japan.
Meanwhile, only a few days ago, Chinese bombers had intruded and hovered in the Japanese airspace. They had carried out surveillance right up to the Okinawa islands, crossing the Miyako Strait. The United States has the largest air and naval base on the Okinawa islands. Therefore, the analysts in the United States accused that this surveillance by the Chinese bombers, was targeted at the United States. Moreover, there have been incidents of the Chinese destroyers intruding into the Japanese waters, along with the bombers. The supersonic missile collaboration, between the United States and Japan, is being looked at, against the background of the increasing Chinese intrusion.