The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force successfully flight tested its first Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN)-built Standard Missile-3. The SM-3 Block IA missile engaged and destroyed a medium-range ballistic missile target more than 60 miles above the Pacific Ocean. Personnel at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai launched the ballistic missile target while the crew of the Japanese destroyer JS KONGO (DDG-173) fired the intercepting missile. ....Separately, Israel has approved manufacture of a defense system against short-range rockets:
Japan is working with Raytheon and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop and deploy the next-generation SM-3 Block IIA missile, which will provide a larger area of defense against more sophisticated threats.
SM-3 is being developed as part of the MDA's sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The missiles will be deployed on Aegis cruisers and destroyers to defend against short-to-intermediate range ballistic missile threats in the midcourse phase of flight.
The Israeli security cabinet on Sunday gave the green light for the manufacture of a defence system capable of intercepting short-range rockets such as those fired by Gaza militants, army radio said.
The cabinet allocated 811 million shekels (207 million dollars, 144 million euros) towards the development and manufacture of the missile defence system, it said.
The system -- dubbed "The Iron Dome" -- will be developed by the Israeli arms firm Rafael and is expected to be operational within two years. The defence ministry first ordered its development in February.
In addition to being able to intercept the home-made rockets fired from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian militant groups, it will also be able to shoot down Katyusha-type short-range rockets of the kind fired by Lebanon's Hezbollah militia during last year's 34-day war with Israel.
During that brief but bloody conflict, Hezbollah fired nearly 4,000 rockets into Israel, killing more than 40 civilians.