Tokyo: Japanese military has successfully
shot down a mock missile in its second test of a US-developed
surface-to-air interception system, the Defence Ministry said
here on Thursday.
The test, using a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
guided missile was conducted in the US state of New Mexico
yesterday. During the test, a missile produced by a Japanese
company in a licensing agreement was used for the first time,
the ministry said.
A Japanese Air Self-Defence Force unit detected and
tracked the mock missile with radar before a PAC-3 missile
successfully shot it down, the ministry said.
In September last year, Japan became the first country
other than the US to test the PAC-3, a surface-to-air missile
that tracks and hits incoming targets.
Coupled with the sea-launched Standard Missile-3
interceptors, the PAC-3 missiles, which aim at an incoming
ballistic missile at low altitude, constitute the core of the
missile shield Japan is building with the help of the US.
PAC-3-enabled missile batteries have been deployed in the
greater Tokyo region and several other regions in Japan.
Strategic allies, Washington and Tokyo have been working
jointly to erect a missile shield against possible attacks
from North Korea. The missile shield is planned for completion
by early 2011.