WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Japan’s plan to build two destroyers is poised to receive tangible U.S. support through the acquisition of weapon systems.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which manages the Foreign Military Sales program, notified Congress Japan has requested Aegis combat systems and underwater weapon systems for the ships at an estimated cost $1.5 billion.
Other systems — along with associated equipment, parts and support – would be part of the possible sale package approved by the U.S. State Department.
“Japan continues to modernize its fleet to support integrated air and missile defense roles and special mission requirements,” DSCA said. “The addition of two new AEGIS DDGs (destroyers) will fulfill Japan’s mission goal of acquiring eight ballistic missile defense capable ships and will further enhance interoperability with the U.S. Navy, build upon a longstanding cooperative effort with the United States, and provide enhanced capability with a valued partner in a geographic region of critical importance to Japan and the U.S. Government.
“The proposed sale to Japan will represent an important commitment by the U.S. Government in furtherance of foreign policy and national security goals for both the United States and Japan.”
The combat systems will be procured over a period of six or seven years.
In addition to Aegis MK 7 shipsets, shopping list includes computer programs, multi-mission signal processors, AN/MK8 MOD4 Aegis common display systems, MK 99 MOD 8 fire control systems, AN/SPG-62A radar, ballistic missile defense units, identification-friend-or-foe systems, AN/SQQ-89A (V) 15 underwater surveillance and communication system, and other gear.
“The addition of two new AEGIS DDGs to Japan’s fleet will afford more flexibility and capability to counter regional threats and continue to enhance stability in the region,” DSCA said.
The agency said Japanese industry has requested participation with U.S. industry as sub-contractors as part of the FMS sale on a limited basis to provide selected components and software for the destroyers’ weapons systems.
In other FMS developments, the State Department has also approved a request by Bahrain for follow-on support and associated equipment, parts and logistics for its fleet off F-16 aircraft.
The estimated price tag for the proposed deal is $150 million.
“The RBAF’s F-16s are aging and periodic maintenance is becoming increasingly expensive,” the agency said. “The age of the fleet, combined with an increased operational tempo due to recent involvement in Operation Inherent Resolve (anti ISIL bombings) has led to increased focus on maintenance and sustainment.”
“The follow-on support is required to maintain the operational readiness of the Royal Bahrain Air Force’s F-16 fleet.