Japan intercepts ballistic missile targets with both SM-3 variants for first timeNews
November 21, 2022
KAUAI, Hawaii. Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force intercepted short- and medium-range ballistic missile targets with SM-3 interceptors during a recent test, SM-3 manufacturer Raytheon announced in a statement.
Raytheon claimed it was the first time a non-U.S. maritime service intercepted missile targets using both variants of SM-3 interceptors: the Block IB and Block IIA. The statement also indicated it was the first time a Japanese ship fired a Block IIA missile at all. Raytheon says that the Block IIA missile offers improved range and performance compared to past iterations of the interceptor.
The test, Japan Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-07, was conducted in partnership with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and "included engagements of ballistic missile targets with SM-3 and a next-generation subsonic aerial target with SM-2 Block IIIB," the statement adds.