The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) is to get two more Aegis-equipped destroyers equipped with the latest ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems. The move to bolster air defence capability with more ships is similar to that taken by neighbours South Korea, with their navy to receive three additional Aegis destroyers to guard against the North Korean threat.
The JMSDF ships are likely to be a modified version of the Atago class (pictured), itself an enlarged and improved version of the Kongou class, based on an American Arleigh Burke design. Slated to enter service around 2020-21, their introduction will increase the fleet of BMD-capable ships to eight, with four Kongou and four Atago class. The current pair of Atago class ships are to have their systems upgraded.