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U.S. Forced to Import Patriot Missiles From Japan Amid Alarming Stock Shortage

The decision to import PAC-2 and PAC-3 guided missiles for the Patriot air defense system from Japan is poised to ensure that the United States can replenish its critically depleted stockpile of Patriot missile systems. This shortage has been exacerbated by the deployment of these guided missiles to Ukraine, Israel, and several Arab nations.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Due to a shortage of PAC-2 and PAC-3 guided missiles utilized by the “Patriot” air defense system, the United States is currently compelled to import several dozen of these guided missiles (referred to as interceptors) from Japan to address the critical deficiency.

The decision to import PAC-2 and PAC-3 guided missiles from Japan is aimed at replenishing the depleted stock of the missile,  a consequence of shipments to Ukraine, Israel, and several Arab nations.

This importation of the aforementioned guided missiles from Japan enables Washington to dispatch a greater quantity of these missiles to Ukraine, enhancing its ability to defend its airspace against potential aerial assaults by the Russian military.

Ukraine is grappling with a shortfall in military aid funding from Washington, leading to a reduction in military operations to contend with Russian military attacks.

Despite the United States and Europe providing over US$100 billion (RM450 billion) in aid to Ukraine thus far, Kiev requires additional military assistance from both Washington and its European allies.

Patriot
Patriot

 

In addition to the Patriot missiles, Ukraine is also facing a critical shortage of 155mm artillery shells.

The missiles for the Patriot air defense system, owned by Japan, are manufactured domestically by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries under license from RTX (formerly known as Raytheon) and Lockheed Martin.

As a pacifist nation, Japan has had to modify domestic regulations to fulfill its desire to export these crucial guided missiles for the Patriot air defense system.

 According to Tokyo, the export of these missiles will further strengthen military cooperation between Japan and the United States.

In addition to missiles for the Patriot air defense system, Japan is also contemplating the export of 155mm artillery shells, produced under license from BAE, to the United Kingdom.

Patriot

However, analysts in the Indo-Pacific region strongly criticize Japan’s actions in exporting missiles for the Patriot air defense system to the United States at a time when China poses a military threat.

They argue that this export also signals that China is unlikely to launch an imminent attack to capture Taiwan.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan is criticized for adhering to President Biden’s directive, which prioritizes Europe with continuous military aid to Ukraine, leaving the Indo-Pacific region isolated in facing the challenge posed by China. — DSA

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