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Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5573

The SPY-7 Hybrid Defense Security Cooperation Project with Japan Completes Initial Engineering Demonstration of Capability

February 25, 2021

On 27 January, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy Aegis Technical Representative (TECHREP) witnessed the successful demonstration of the first software release of the Japanese J7.B Aegis Weapon System equipped with SPY-7 radar in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Overall, there has been significant program progress since Japan’s Aegis SPY-7 system selection in July 2018, and this demonstration completes a major milestone in the Japan Missile Defense program. The demonstration showed Aegis baseline J7.B with SPY-7 has the capability to perform ballistic missile defense search, track, and discrimination of a threat representative Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) target. The demonstration positioned the system at-sea and enabled operation of all four SPY-7 array faces. It is the first major software delivery planned for the Japan Missile Defense program and will be applicable to a maritime platform currently under consideration by the Government of Japan.

MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said, “With this demonstration, MDA has confirmed that the integration of SPY-7 into the Japanese Aegis architecture is going very well and that all expected performance criteria are being met. This ongoing and important integration work remains on schedule, and will continue to add increasing capability for Japan to defend itself against regional missile threats.”

The SPY-7 radar uses equipment and software derived from the MDA’s Long Range Discriminating Radar (LRDR). LRDR is on track for delivery and Initial Operational Capability in 2021, having completed all major production activities as well as array panel and equipment installation in Clear, Alaska. MDA is planning to upgrade LRDR for additional missions in space domain awareness and hypersonic tracking as well as implementing cost reduction initiatives. These modifications are feasible without changing the hardware design.

Aegis Baseline J7.B is a variant of the Japanese Aegis Baseline J7 already in service and currently fielded on Japan’s Maya-class destroyers. Japan’s Aegis Baseline J7 is equivalent to the U.S. Navy’s Aegis Baseline 9 with Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) fielded on destroyers and Aegis Ashore sites. Aegis Baseline J7.B adds the advanced solid-state SPY-7 radar to the mature J7 baseline, and will utilize the latest capabilities and functionality of both Aegis Baseline 9 and Aegis Baseline 10 available in the Aegis Common Source Library.

This first software demonstration focused specifically on SPY-7 radar integration with the J7.B Aegis Weapon System, including system initialization, sensor and system configuration, BMD functions, and data recording. The next software release is planned for October 2021, and will demonstrate increased capability in the overall system.

Once complete, MDA and the Aegis TECHREP will test the Aegis J7.B weapon system in its final configuration, including the SPY-7 radar, at the Aegis Production Test Center (PTC). The Aegis PTC has supported testing and certification of the Aegis system with sea-based radars, including all variants of the Aegis SPY-1 radar, for over 40 years. To reduce shipbuilding risk, the Aegis PTC will be equipped with four production-version SPY-7 arrays and conduct live ballistic missile target tracking exercises prior to shipment of the equipment to the Government of Japan for integration onto their future platform.