The new system will add to Japan's current two tiers of missile defense - Aegis destroyers equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors, and ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors.
President Donald Trump's administration has approved the sale of four missiles to Japan to bolster the country's defense system against the threat from North Korea.
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The sources said this US-built information exchange system, called "engage on remote", would share radar information from one Aegis warship stationed in the Sea of Japan, with another Aegis vessel stationed elsewhere. This second vessel would use the information for targeting and shooting down the North Korean missiles.
The principal contractors for this FMS will be Raytheon [RTN] for the missiles and BAE Systems for the missile canisters. This second Aegis destroyer will target a missile and fire an interceptor based on radar information provided by another Aegis vessel closer to the missile launch site.
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While Pyongyang refused to discuss the topic of denuclearization with Seoul, the head of the North Korean delegation at the talks, Ri Son Gwon, told media that all North Korean weapons "including atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and ballistic missiles" are aimed exclusively at the United States and should not be deemed to pose threat to the self-isolated country's neighbors. Consequently, the government intends to carefully gauge the USA side's intentions on this issue. The Aegis system is not created to intercept such missiles.
Throughout 2017, North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests despite constant criticism from the West and trade sanctions. North Korea is believed to have many such missiles, the largest single threat North Korea poses to Japan besides a nuclear-tipped ICBM. It is expected to enter operational service in 2019-2020 at a cost of about ¥170 billion (USD 1.5B) each, the report says. The government is considering introducing the new system to the other vessels during upgrades.
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Moscow has criticized Japan's plans to expand its missile shield with Aegis systems.