POSTED: 9 JULY 2008 - 9:30am HST

Japanese-PMRF missile test fails

image above: Japanese Chokai (Kongo class vessel) used in test

by Jim Wolf on 20 November 2008 in

A Japanese warship failed to shoot down a ballistic missile target in a joint test with U.S. forces Wednesday because of a glitch in the final stage of an interceptor made by Raytheon Co, a U.S. military official said.

The kinetic warhead's infrared "seeker" lost track in the last few seconds of the $55 million test, about 100 miles above Hawaiian waters, said U.S. Rear Admiral Brad Hicks, program director of the Aegis sea-based leg of an emerging U.S. anti-missile shield.

"This was a failure," he said in a teleconference with reporters. It brought the tally of Aegis intercepts to 16 in 20 tries.

The problem "hopefully was related just to a single interceptor," not to a systemic issue with the Standard Missile-3 Block 1A, the same missile used in February to blow apart a crippled U.S. spy satellite, Hicks said.

image above: interceptor missile is launched from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Military officials from both countries said in a joint statement there was no immediate explanation for the botched intercept of a medium-range missile mimicking a potential North Korean threat. The test was paid for by Japan, Hicks said.

John Patterson, a spokesman at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona, said the company would not comment pending the results of an engineering analysis of what may have gone wrong.

The test involved the Chokai, the second Japanese Kongo-class ship to be outfitted by the United States for missile defense, and a dummy missile fired from a range on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

North Korea's test-firing of a ballistic missile over Japan in August 1998 spurred Tokyo to become the most active U.S. ally in building a layered shield against missiles that could be tipped with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.

A Japanese defense official said he thought Japan would continue with its missile defense plans.

"I believe the system is sufficiently reliable," Japan's top military bureaucrat, Vice Minister Kohei Masuda, told reporters later.

"I don't think there will be any effect on the construction schedule Japan is planning," he added.

The drill off Kauai featured the ship-borne Aegis ballistic missile defense system made by Lockheed Martin Corp, which apparently worked without a hitch.

The operation of the Aegis system by the Chokai's crew and the missile's "flyout" toward the target were successful even though the intercept was not achieved, said Rear Adm. Tomohisa Takei, operations and plans director for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency.

More information will be available after a thorough investigation, they said in the statement.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, which staged the drill in cooperation with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Forces, called it a "No Notice" test, more challenging than the first of its kind for a Japanese ship in 2007.

To make it more realistic, the time of the target's launch was not disclosed to any participants, the Pentagon said in a "fact sheet" before the test.

Also, the target warhead separated from its booster rocket, increasing the challenge of picking out the re-entry vehicle, the Pentagon said.

In addition to the Chokai, a similarly equipped U.S. Navy destroyer, the Paul Hamilton, tracked and successfully performed a simulated engagement against the ballistic missile, Hicks said.

In December 2003, Japan decided to equip its four Kongo-class destroyers with Aegis ballistic missile defense systems at a cost of $246.1 million. Each installation was to be followed by a test intercept. The Kongo, the first to be upgraded, completed its flight test in December 2007.

Myoko, the third ship to be upgraded, is to be ready next year and Kirishima, in 2010, according to Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier by sales.

Failure of Missile Test “At the Last Second”
by William Cole on 19 November 2008 in The Honolulu Advertiser

image above: PMRF ballistic missile type used in Aegis test with Japanese

A missile fired by the Japanese destroyer Chokai yesterday failed to intercept a ballistic missile target off Kaua’i in a second test of Japan’s ship-based Aegis ballistic missile defense system.
The $55 million exercise paid for by Japan was intended to knock down a simulated ballistic missile in which the warhead separated from the booster.
But Rear Adm. Brad Hicks, the Aegis system program manager for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said an “anomaly” occurred in the fourth stage of flight by the Standard Missile-3 Block 1A seeker missile.

A kinetic warhead released by the missile found and tracked the simulated ballistic missile, but in the last few seconds it “lost track” of the target, Hicks said.

“The missile, until the very end of flight, had excellent performance,” Hicks said.
Hicks said an investigation will determine “if it was just that individual missile, or something that we need to take a look at.



POSTED: 9 JULY 2008 - 9:30am HST

Call against Japanese-PMRF missile test

image above:Launch ofSM-3 missile off USS Lake Erie near Kauai on 11/17/05

Elaine Dunbar on 8 November 2008

On behalf of the following campaign against the planned SM-3 (Standard Missile) interception test conducted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force off Kauai Island, Hawaii, I would like to call on everyone on the No-Bases Network to sign on the petition.

Thank you.
(Asian Peace Alliance Japan [APA-Japan], People's Plan Study Group [PPSG])

Join our petition campaign against the planned Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces (JMSDF) SM-3 (Standard Missile) intercepting test near Kauai Island in Hawaii.

To endorse the following statement, please send your name and city, and organization (if any), and your message to:

The deadline of the petition is November 12 (Japan time), 2008.


The Japanese Ministry of Defense plans to carry out the SM-3 intercepting test from th e JMSDF's Aegis-equipped destroyer Chokai (Chokai is based in Sasebo Base, Nagasaki Prefecture) off Kauai Island, in Hawaii, in the middle of November 2008. Six billion yen (US$60,000,000) will be spent on the second test of the SM-3, which was previously tested by the JMSDF's Kongo destroyer in December 2007.

We demand the cancellation of the test for the following reasons:

1. Because the battery position of the simulated missile for the test is the U.S. Pacific Missile Range Facility, in Kauai Island, which is constructed on a traditional burial ground of the indigenous Kanaka Maori people, we believe this missile test constitutes a shameful persecution by Japan against the history, community and nature of Kanaka Maori people. (In solidarity with the Kanaka Mori people, we also call for the closure of the Pacific Missile Range Facility);

2. Missile Defense is a highly aggressive military system, working as a shield and a counter-attack against a preemptive attack. Thus it facilitates possible reemptive aggression. We are strongly concerned about recent U.S. military activities in Japan such as the deployment of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington to its new mother port at Yokosuka base, the Ohio nuclear-powered
submarine's first port call at Yokosuka and so on. We oppose these military applications of the "pike" and the "shield" strategy which have been the result of accelerating the arms race in East Asia.

3. The central aim of the MD system, currently being deployed to several military bases in Japan, is to protect U.S. soil including Hawaii and Guam. Thus, this system contradicts the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Moreover, the new SM-3 system the United States and Japan are jointly developing is designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMO) on the premise that the JMSDF will participate in collective self-defense of the U.S., which is prohibited by the Japanese Constitution's Article 9. Therefore, introducing the MD system into Japan is unconstitutional.

4. In February 2008, the U.S. Aegis-equipped Shiloh destroyer shot down a disused U.S. spy satellite. This shows that Japan, with the SM-3 also attains an anti-satellite (ASAT) armory. We demand that the SM-3, along with the PAC3, be removed immediately from the JSDF's weaponry. Japan should not join the U.S.' MD system framework which forms a key part of the "Star Wars" weapons program that
includes deployment of military equipment into outer space.

5. The MD system's fraudulent "spiral method" development of weapons systems grants vast benefits to the Japanese and U.S. military industrial complex. The estimated cost for initial deployment of the MS system is one trillion yen (US$10 billion). At a time when people are facing increasing poverty, a financial crisis, a food crisis and environmental destruction, we believe that these sort of military
expenditures should instead be allocated to sectors where they can provide a better life for the people.

6.We see a military alliance built on the supposition of hostile nation s is out of date. The U.S.-Japan Security Treaty should be changed into a more progressive agreement advancing peace and friendship, and negotiations and diplomacy should be emphasized in East Asia in order to nurture trust and promote disarmament. Global citizens should find peace, not in a missile armament race conducted in the name of "Missile Defense," but in the elimination of missiles.

Endorsing groups:
Peace Voice Action Network,
No to Patriot Missile! Action Committee agzainst Narashino Base,
Yokosuka Peace Fleets,
No to Nukes and Missile Defense Campaign,
Human Rights and Peace Hamamatsu,
No War Network,
Committee against the Deployment of PAC3 to Kakamigahara JASDF Base,
Committee against the co-use of Tsuiki JASDF Base by SDF and U.S Military and Relocation of U.S. Marines to
Tsuiki Base


see also:
Island Breath: RIMPAC HI whale death 7/31/08
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 7/2/08
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 7/9/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 impact 5/23/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2004 Strandings  9/2/04