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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 Additional Capability Demonstration

September 10, 2021

On August 26, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy Aegis Technical Representative (TECHREP) witnessed a successful Mid-Release 2 Demonstration of the software release for the Japanese J7.B Aegis Weapon System equipped with SPY-7 radar, in Moorestown, New Jersey. Japan will field J7.B onboard an afloat Aegis System-Equipped Vessel (ASEV) to provide ballistic missile defense (BMD).

The demonstration showed Aegis Baseline J7.B with SPY-7 has the capability to perform engagements against ballistic missiles with the U.S.-Japan jointly-developed SM-3 Block IIA. During this demonstration of critical fire-control functions, Aegis Baseline J7.B fully supported the SM-3 Block IIA, including missile acquisition, missile guidance commands, and two-way missile communications simultaneously with SPY-7 BMD radar operations. Further, the demonstration confirmed J7.B with SPY-7’s capability to properly search and track very large raids of BMD threats, important system monitoring and diagnostics, and air defense radar operations with 4-radar arrays and 360 hemispheric coverage. The first demonstration, held earlier this year, also included BMD search, track, and discrimination. Release 2 Software is on track for final testing and delivery later this year.

MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said, “With this second demonstration, MDA has confirmed Aegis baseline J7.B with SPY-7 can fulfill critical fire-control functions against large raids of BMD threats, providing increased capability for Japan to defend itself against regional missile threats. The overall ASEV J7.B with SPY-7 effort remains on track for cost, schedule, and performance with all planned performance criteria met.”

The SPY-7 radar uses equipment and software derived from the MDA’s Long Range Discriminating Radar (LRDR) located in Clear, Alaska.

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.

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 weapon system with sea-based radars, including all variants of the Aegis SPY-1 radar. To reduce shipbuilding risk, the Aegis PTC will be equipped with four production 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 ASEV platform.