WASHINGTON: The US government on Monday said that it has approved the proposed sale to Japan of long-range air-to-surface missiles worth an estimated 104 million dollars.
In a statement, the US government said that it has already notified Congress of the matter.
The sale “will improve Japan’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing stand-off capability,” the statement said.
The United States will sell Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles with Extended Range, or JASSM-ER, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp.
With a range of around 900 kilometers, the JASSM-ER missiles are capable of striking from outside enemy range. The missiles can also be used as part of counterstrike capabilities.
The Japanese government had asked the US side to sell up to 50 missiles, as well as related equipment.
Tokyo is planning to mount the missiles on F-15 fighters of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force.
At a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada expressed his welcome for Washington’s decision to sell the JASSM-ER missiles, saying that they are expected to contribute to the strengthening of Japan’s standoff defense capability.