Japan will transfer PAC-3 interceptor missiles to the U.S. to backfill U.S. stocks

Ukraine may receive interceptor missiles from Japan for the US Patriot air defence system.

The American edition of The Washington Post shared the information. It is expected that this week, Japan will officially approve policy changes that will allow it to export several dozen missiles for SAMs to the United States. After that, Washington will be able to poison them to Ukraine. By the way, Japan is producing missiles for Patriot under a licence from Raytheon.

Patriot is an air defence missile system developed by the US company Raytheon. It consists of an air interception missile and a high-performance radar system. The probability of hitting an aircraft is 0.8-0.9, while the probability of hitting a tactical missile is 0.6-0.8. The cost of one missile is about $3 million. The AFU now has three batteries of SAMs in service. Germany transferred two batteries and one by the US together with its allies.

The U.S. government is required to obtain Japan’s consent before transferring the Patriot missiles to a third country, the ministry said.

Under these rules, the Patriots provided by Tokyo cannot go directly to Ukraine. But by backfilling U.S. inventories, it offers the U.S. more freedom to send American-made air-defense systems to Ukraine.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan issued a statement Friday welcoming Japan’s easing of arms export restrictions.

“This decision will contribute to the security of Japan and to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by ensuring that U.S. forces, in close cooperation with the Japan Self-Defense Forces, will continue to maintain a credible deterrence and response capability,” Sullivan said.

The government of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida “has made a fundamental error in going along with the Biden administration’s prioritization of Europe,” said Elbridge Colby, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development.

“We have sent weapons that we cannot replace in a timely fashion, we have distracted the attention of the defense industrial base and we’ve spent over $100 billion on Ukraine,” said Colby, co-founder and principal at Washington strategic think tank The Marathon Initiative.

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