|CGI of the Aegis Ashore System|
The government is set to give full consideration to introducing a new ground-based anti-ballistic missile system called Aegis Ashore in response to the recent spate of missile launches by North Korea, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada revealed on May 15.
"In order to boost our capabilities to constantly protect all of Japan, we will move ahead with studies on a ballistic missile defense system for the future," Inada told a May 15 House of Councillors Committee on Audit session.
The Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) currently have a two-tiered defense system against missiles heading toward Japan -- first intercepting them in space at a maximum altitude of 500 kilometers with the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launched from an Aegis ship, and then shooting down any remaining missiles with ground-based PAC-3 Patriot missiles at an altitude of less than 20 kilometers.
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