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US Offers Japan 80 Patriot Missiles

File photo: One of Japan's current Patriot Interceptor Missiles.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 24, 2006
The United States has offered Japan up to 80 more Patriot interceptor missiles following North Korea's rocket tests last month, a news report said Thursday. Japan's Defense Agency intends to take up part of the offer as it accelerates the planned deployment of a missile defense system, the Kyodo News agency reported, citing unnamed sources.

The agency had planned to build PAC-3 interceptor missiles under license by early 2010 but would now request 11.6 billion yen (99.7 million dollars) from the national budget to buy them from the United States, the report said.

The US offer follows a written request from Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last month, it added.

Japan has been in a hurry to boost its missile defenses since North Korea fired a rocket over the Japanese mainland into the Pacific Ocean in 1998, prompting Tokyo and Washington to step up cooperation in missile defenses.

The pacifist nation vowed to step up its efforts after North Korea test-fired seven missiles in its direction on July 5, including one long-range Taepodong-2 which is said in theory to be capable of hitting US soil.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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US Navy To Double Aegis Missile Defenese Fleet
Washington (UPI) Aug 22, 2006
by the end of 2006, the U.S. Navy will have a total of six warships capable of tracking and shooting down ballistic missiles, the Navy Times reported Friday. Three cruisers -- the USS Shiloh, USS Lake Erie and USS Port Royal -- already have the capability to track ballistic missiles with upgraded Aegis radar.

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