Japan Selects $1.2 Billion Lockheed Radar for its Missile Defense Stations

To address concerns or future threats from North Korea, Japan has asked Lockheed Martin to build a powerful new $1.2 billion radar for two ground-based Aegis ballistic missile defense stations. The new radar will increase the nation’s ability to cope with missiles on lofted trajectories raising the level of ballistic missile defense.

Japan is intending to re-strengthen its defenses despite recent talks from North Korea of denuclearizing and holding peace talks with the regional nations and the US. Yet, the deal is also being touted as the island nation’s attempt on easing trade conflicts with the US administration, who in turn recently had threatened to impose tariffs on Japanese auto imports. According to Japanese Defense Ministry, the two new radars will cost around 130 billion yen ($1.17 billion) each, with maintenance and other operational costs putting the estimated budget at the two sites over 30 years at 466 billion yen. Other outlays, including for missile launchers, interceptors, buildings and defenses for the two sites, will add to the final tally.

The Trump administration recently increased tariffs on steel and car imports, two of the major market imports dominated by Japanese industries, but also supported Japan’s decision of buying Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter and urged to commit to more such billion dollar defense deals. Continuing the approach, the new deal, thus is expected to be included in a defense budget proposal slated for release next month ahead of meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump in September, when Abe attends the UN meeting in New York.

Japan had two options to select from, the Raytheon Spy-6 radar and a version of Lockheed Martin Corp’s Long Range Discrimination Radar, both having far greater ranges than current Aegis radars operated by Japan or the U.S.