skip to main content

Japan plans SM-6 deployment from 2026

Japan has confirmed plans to integrate SM-6 air-defence missiles onto its two JMSDF Maya-class destroyers. Pictured above is the second of these two vessels, JS Haguro , which was commissioned in March 2021. (Japanese MoD)

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has disclosed to Janes plans to integrate Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) air-defence missiles onto Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Maya-class destroyers from 2026.

The plans were revealed nearly two weeks after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Japan of 32 SM-6 Block I missiles.

According to the DSCA's statement on 20 October, the proposed deal features the SM-6 missiles – across two tranches of 16 – as well as MK41 vertical launching system (VLS) canisters and a range of related equipment and services. The DSCA said the estimated value of the FMS deal, which is expected to be approved by US Congress soon, is USD450 million.

In comments to Janes on 1 November, a Japan MoD spokesperson said the missiles will be fitted onto the JMSDF's two Maya (Improved Atago)-class Aegis-equipped destroyers, which were commissioned into service in March 2020 and March 2021, respectively.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the decision means that the missiles will not be installed onto the JMSDF's older Atago-class destroyers, which were commissioned in 2007 and 2008, respectively. In 2018 the MoD indicated that the Atago class would be fitted with SM-6, although – initially at least – this plan will not progress.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...