Japan Completes Testing of the First Missile Defense AEGIS Destroyer


The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), U.S. Navy and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) performed the third successful missile intercept with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD). It was the third and final test in a the vessel’s qualification, verifying the capabilities of Japan’s newest destroyer, JS MYOKO (DDG-175), recently upgraded with the Aegis BMD missile engagement capability.

Before returning to Japan, JS MYOKO will be loaded with additional SM-3 Block IA missiles. The ship will arrive in Japan ready to provide additional ballistic missile defense capability against the increasing ballistic missile threat present in that region.

DDG-175 JS Myoko AEGIS missile destroyer sails along the US Navy SS CVN-76 Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier on a naval exercise in the Pilippines, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Spike Call

In this test, the Japanese navy Ship was cruising off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii, intercepted a ballistic missile target launched from the island. The Japanese crew detected the missile, developed an intercept plan and was ready to fire an SM-3 Block 1A missile about four minutes after the target was launched.

Approximately three minutes later the interceptor hit the target at an altitude of approximately 100 miles above the ocean.