December 19, 2007 The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System has been successfully tested for the 12th time in an exercise that marks the first occasion the system has been used by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. A Japanese Kongo destroyer launched a Standard Missile-3 Block IA missile, which engaged and destroyed a medium-range ballistic missile target fired from the U.S Navy’s Pacific Missile Range facility in Hawaii at a height of 60 miles above the Pacific ocean.
Following a decision made in December 2003, Japan is upgrading their Kongo Class Destroyers with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense capability. The upgrade involves a series of installations and flight tests to take place from 2007 to 2010. JS Kongo was the first ship to have the BMD upgrade installed.
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Boeing has partnered with Raytheon on SM-3 development since 1996, and has built and integrated several components of the SM-3 Kinetic Warhead. Boeing is under subcontract to integrate and test the SM-3 Kinetic Warhead avionics and guidance and control software, as well as the ejection subsystem.
Raytheon provides the infrared seeker and divert attitude control system, and integrates the full SM-3 missile.
Japan is working with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop and deploy the next-generation SM-3 Block IIA missile, which will provide a larger area of defense against more sophisticated threats.