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Friday, July 10, 2015

Japan Interested In Joining NATO Missile Consortium: Report

RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM)Japan is interested in joining a NATO missile building consortium that would give Tokyo its first taste of a multinational defense project, a move the U.S. Navy is encouraging because it could pave the way for Japan to lead similar partnerships in Asia, sources said.

The 12-country NATO consortium oversees development and shares the costs of the SeaSparrow missile, an advanced ship-borne weapon designed to destroy anti-ship sea-skimming missiles and attack aircraft. The missile is made by U.S. weapons firms Raytheon and General Dynamics.

In May, Japanese naval officers traveled to a North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in The Hague to learn more about the consortium, Japan's navy and a U.S. source familiar with the trip told Reuters.

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