Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin announced Wednesday that it has contracted with the Japanese Ministry of Defense to produce two solid state radar antenna sets for Aegis Ashore Japan.
The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System is a U.S. program designed to provide missile defense against short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
The system is designed to detect, track and engage ballistic missile threats and engage multiple targets simultaneously. The Aegis system was recently designated by the federal government as AN/SPY-7(V)1, and provides several times the detection range and sensitivity of previous Aegis systems.
Japan decided to deploy its own Aegis missile defense system in June 2017 and spent $2.15 billion to purchase two Aegis systems at the beginning of this year.
Japan's defense minister, Takeshi Iwaya, has argued Japan needs Aegis Ashore for national security. But the program has been controversial.
In June, Japan's defense minister admitted the government's decision to deploy the missile defense program, and its chosen locations, had been based on faulty data.
Japanese lawmakers and residents of the Akita prefecture, where the interceptors are set to be deployed, have also expressed concerns about the effects of the program's radar on the health of the city's 330,000 residents.
Variants of the SPY-7 radar will also be utilized through partnerships with the U.S. Government, Spain and Canada. To date, the technology has been selected for a total of 24 systems.