Japan’s decision to cancel construction of a land-based missile defense for the home islands has opened up a new competitive battleground between rivals Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies. Both companies manufacture state-of-the-art missile defense radars, but Raytheon’s SPY-6 is the U.S. Navy’s baseline for upgrading missile defenses at sea. Lockheed’s SPY-7 is being developed for defense of the U.S. homeland from sites on shore. So if Japan sticks with its plan to rely on Aegis warships for homeland defense rather than building shore installations, SPY-6 looks to have the upper hand. The Raytheon radar offers 80 times better resolution and three times the range of radars on Aegis destroyers today. Tokyo will likely follow the lead of the U.S. in upgrading its own Aegis warships, making acquisition of SPY-6 the path of least resistance. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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