July 04, 2018 09:28
Japan will step up surveillance of the Korean Peninsula with a new state-of-the-art radar with a range of more than 1,000 km.
The Japanese Defense Ministry is buying the Lockheed Martin Solid State Radar (LMSSR) for the Aegis Ashore, a land-based missile defense system, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday.
The 1,000 km-plus range LMSSR uses the same technology as a ballistic missile interception system the U.S. is building in Alaska.
It has more than double the range of the SPY1 now used on Japan's Aegis ships and also performs better than the 600 km range Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery (THAAD) radar the U.S. has set up in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province.
The Aegis Ashore is a land-based version of the missile defense system on Aegis ships and is mainly used by the U.S. military in Europe.
Tokyo has been seeking to buy the radar since North Korea heightened tensions by conducting a nuclear test and launching intercontinental ballistic missiles last year.
Candidate sites are Yamaguchi and Akita prefecture, and the aim is to put the radar into operation by 2023. It will be capable of keeping the entire Korean Peninsula and nearby border regions under surveillance.
The plan will go ahead despite a thaw in international relations with North Korea.
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