Japan is reportedly considering the use of a larger Aegis ship in lieu of the land-based Aegis Ashore air-and-ballistic missile defence system.
Quoting anonymous government sources, the Japan Times reported that the country’s defence ministry will make a decision around the end of the year after receiving an interim report about the issue.
The proposed ship will displace 9,000 tonnes and have increased berthing spaces for its crew, according to the newspaper. This will be heavier than the current Maya class destroyers, which are currently Japan’s largest Aegis destroyers.
Japan abandoned a plan to acquire two Aegis Ashore systems earlier this year, citing the potential risk of boosters from the SM-3 Block IIA interceptors falling onto populated areas after launch. It added that the cost and time needed for the redesign of the missiles to rectify the possibility would have been prohibitive.