Japan and the United States have been spending heavily on the development of ABM, anti-ballistic missile defense system which has remained well under the radar – no pun intended. The US based Raytheon Aegis missile intercepted an intermediate-range ballistic missile in flight after several tests. The US company Lockheed Martin has produced the THAAD system which was placed in Europe and as of September 2017, was placed in South Korea to neutralize the North Korean threat.
The current US systems and newly developed systems with US allies are being deployed to counter future threats – especially from North Korea.
A bit of history……
The US program for missiles was developed by Dwight D. Eisenhower who put a cap on overall spending and forced the Army, Navy an Air Force to compete for funds for missile programs. This system has been adjusted over the years and a new series of test systems and investment strategies are now being used. There was even an M65 atomic cannon in which a shell is fired several miles and an atomic weapon is detonated on impact. This gun was placed in Western Europe and South Korea in the past. The videos of this gun on youtube are scary – the reason being is that they fire and the nuclear weapon is detonated in less then 10 seconds, so there is no reaction time and, at least from the video, it seems there is no way to protect those near the point of firing this massive gun.
After years of changes, the US developed a command and control system in which some branches of the service where given different tasks. The Air Force was given land-based strategic missiles, the Navy given sea-based submarine systems, and the Army was removed from the system. The ongoing changes in the US system seems to have developed and extended here in Asia – both Japan and South Korea seem to be deploying several US systems on the ground and on ships.
Clearly the US defense system is now be adopted, to some extent, by the Japanese and the relationship is only getting strong between this two tech giants as the threat from North Korea increases.
The Anti-missile deployments in Asia and Europe are prudent given the threats from North Korea and Russia. For now, Japan and South Korea in our region will be jointly developing and employing US systems to protect from attacks in the future.