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Japan deploys advanced patriot missile system

March 30th, 2007 . by Matt

A Patriot missile being fired
A Patriot missile being fired

The patriot missile was quite effective in shooting down Iraqi scud missiles, so this advanced version of the patriot missile deployed by Japan should have a good chance of shooting down North Korean nuclear tipped missiles.

Japan began deploying its first advanced Patriot missile defense system yesterday near Tokyo, part of an effort to accelerate missile defense capabilities following North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests last year.

The installment comes about a year earlier than originally planned.

Two PAC-3 launchers, brought in on about 10 military trucks, arrived at the Iruma Self-Defense Force base in Saitama, just north of Tokyo, before dawn. Japan plans to deploy about 30 mobile PAC-3 launchers at 10 military bases across the nation through 2010.

The Patriots would be used as a last resort if interceptors fired from US or Japanese ships fail to knock out incoming missiles. Japan will begin introducing Standard Missile-3 interceptors on its destroyers over the next few years as part of that effort.

Japanese Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma welcomed yesterday’s deployment.

“We will continue to improve our preparedness by steadily achieving deployment plans that are coming up,” he said.

The Patriot surface-to-air missiles offer protection for a relatively limited area — about a 100km radius. They work on a hit-to-kill basis as the target missile is making its descent toward its target, rather than intercepting the target at a higher altitude earlier in its flight.

Japan stepped up its missile defenses after North Korea shot a ballistic missile over its main island in 1998. Tokyo decided to further accelerate the building of its missile shield following Pyongyang’s test of long-range ballistic missiles in July and its nuclear test in October.

Last month, the US military deployed a newly operational detachment of Patriot missiles at a base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, where most of the roughly 50,000 US troops in the country are based.


3 Responses to “Japan deploys advanced patriot missile system”

  1. comment number 1 by: redlight1986

    Good for you Japan. Yeah N.Korea can get crazy.

  2. comment number 2 by: MarkA

    Useful against the Sky Dragon as well.

  3. comment number 3 by: Ocebey

    The patriot missile was quite effective in shooting down Iraqi scud missiles,

    Most of the international statistics on the overall efficiency of the patriots PAC-2 of that time barely hit over 10% of the SCUDS…
    Hopefully most of the time the SCUDS didn’t hit their target but can this kind of risk be taken for an atomic bomb? Plus the patriot can’t shoot far. This is a pretty much useless defense here…
    Maybe considering they need the ability to defend themselves the Japaneses ought to finaly develop their own strong defense industry instead of relying on american handmedown.