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US Deploys High-Tech Destroyer To Japan To Replace Older Vessel

The USS Mustin.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jul 08, 2006
Saturday's arrival in Japan of a high-tech US guided-missile destroyer had been planned for months and was not a reaction to North Korea's recent missile tests, a US Navy spokesman said Saturday.

"It's not a response to anything. It's just a routine port visit," Lieutenant Trey Brown told AFP of the arrival in Yokosuka of the USS Mustin.

He added that the destroyer, which will remain in the port for a brief time, was sent to replace an older vessel, the USS Vandergrift, as part of a "long-range plan to replace older ships with newer, more capable ships."

Brown would not comment on what the destroyer's mission was while it was in Yokosuka, or whether it was sent as part of an exercise. But he added that it would now be permanently deployed in Japan.

The USS Mustin is equipped with the advanced Aegis technology, which enables the tracking of ballistic missiles such as North Korea's long-range Taepodong-2, fired on Wednesday.

The high-tech destroyer arrived Saturday at the Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, Kyodo News said.

The US Navy also plans to deploy the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh to Yokosuka next month.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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