On August 7, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that the U.S. State Department has approved a possible $1.5 billion sale of two Lockheed Martin Corp Aegis combat systems as well as new anti-submarine warfare equipment to Japan. According to the DSCA press release:
The Government of Japan has requested a possible sale of two (2) ship sets of the MK 7 AEGIS Weapon System, AN/SQQ-89A (v) 15J UWS and CEC. Additional items include associated equipment, training, and support for its Japan Fiscal Year (JFY) 2015 and JFY2016 new construction destroyers (DDGs). The ACS and associated support will be procured over a six (6) to seven (7) year period, as approved by Japan in budgets for JFY2015 and JFY2016.
The weapons deal, likely to be approved by Congress, aims to enhance Japan’s capabilities to defend against a ballistic missile attack. Japan is currently upgrading and modifying all of its Aegis destroyers (the Kongō-class and Atago-class) with the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) system.