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US Has Sealed Deal On Japan's Licensed Production Of PAC-3 Missiles

And on the land we offer the PAC-3 for close in missile defense support for cities and other key infrastructure.

Tokyo (AFP) Jul 16, 2005
The United States has concluded a deal to allow Japan's licensed production of US-developed surface-to-air missiles which will constitute the core of a joint missile defense system, a report said Saturday.

The two governments sealed a memorandum of understanding in March on the licensed production of Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) interceptor missiles, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported in its evening edition.

US Lockheed Martin Corp. is expected to sign a contract within the current fiscal year which ends in March 2006 to license Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. with PAC-3 production, the influential daily said.

Officials were not immediately available at the Defence Agency or Mitsubishi to comment on the report.

The PAC-3 is a US army surface-to-air guided missile capable of intercepting missiles, including North Korea's Rodong, which has a range of about 1,300 kilometers (810 miles).

Japan plans to deploy an anti-missile shield consisting of the land-based PAC-3 as well as the seaborne Standard Missile 3 (SM-3).

SM-3s intercept ballistic missiles when they reach their highest point outside of the atmosphere and PAC-3 missiles are used to destroy missiles that evade SM-3 attacks.

Japan and the United States have been engaged in joint technological research on a missile defence system since 1999, a year after North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific.

Japan plans to start deploying PAC-3 missiles in the latter half of the fiscal year to March 2007. It will buy them in the first two years from Lockheed Martin before starting deployment of Mitsubishi-produced PAC-3 missiles in the year to March 2009, the report said.

The licensed PAC-3 production will help Japan's defense industry "maintain its technological might and promptly respond to such events as malfunctions," a defense agency official was quoted as saying by the Asahi.

But licensed production will be more costly than imports, the daily said.

The Defense Agency estimates the cost of the missile defense system to be between 800 billion and one trillion yen (7.3-9.1 billion dollars), it said.

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U.S. Navy Contracts Alliant, LockMart To Develop New SLIRBM System
Washington (UPI) July 14, 2005
Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin have been awarded a $9.2 million contract from the U.S. Navy's Strategic Systems Program to develop a new Submarine-Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile system, or SLIRBM, Alliant announced Tuesday.

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