Japan has dropped plans to acquire US-made anti-ship missiles for its F-15 fighter jets over skyrocketing prices, the Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday.
The Japanese Defense Ministry has reportedly informed the ruling Liberal Democratic Party about the decision.
Initially, the two countries agreed on the price of 98 billion yen ($ 894 million) to upgrade the jets with the Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM), but later the price went up to 218 billion yen (over $ 1.9 billion) due to shortages of electrical components and the need to update the software, according to the media outlet.
The missiles with a reported range of 900 kilometers (559 miles) are deemed vital by Japan in light of China’s military buildup, the news agency said.
Earlier, the US approved two missiles–related arms sales to Japan worth a combined $ 195 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of AEGIS Class Destroyer Support and related equipment for an estimated cost of $ 134 million,” the DSCA said in a press release.
The Department of State has also approved the possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan of RAM Block 2 Tactical Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $ 61.5 million, the DSCA said. The agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Wednesday, it said.
“The Government of Japan has requested to buy up to 44 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) Block 2 Tactical Missiles, RIM-116C. Also included are RAM Block 2 Guidance Control Groups… and storage containers, ”the DSCA said. The total estimated program cost was $ 61.5 million, the agency said.
The AEGIS support systems sale will involve Follow-On Technical Support (FOTS) of AEGIS Class Destroyers, to include sustainment support and services, AEGIS computer software updates and system integration and its principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin of Moorestown, New Jersey, the release said.