Report: Japan eyeing SM-6 missiles for defense program

 Japan may add SM-6 missiles to the country’s future ground-based defense system to intercept missiles, Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

The SM-6 missiles would be in addition to SM-3 Block 2A missiles for defense against ballistic missiles, the Japan News, a Yomiuri Simbun publication, reported. It’s all part of the planned Aegis Ashore system, a product of Maryland-based Lockheed Martin.

Chinese bombers flying near Japan have prompted to government to protect the island from cruise missiles, a number of government sources told the newspaper.

The Japanese government hopes to get two Aegis Ashore systems online in the next six years. The systems’ SM-3 Block IIA missiles are a joint project between Japan and the United States. They would compliment the SM-6 missiles by protecting the island from high-altitude ballistic missiles.