U.S. defence company Raytheon (RTN.N) is lobbying Japanese lawmakers to replace Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) as the supplier of powerful radars as Tokyo reconsiders plans for two Aegis Ashore missile defence sites, three sources said.
“It’s game on,” said one of the sources, who has direct knowledge of Raytheon’s lobbying campaign. Raytheon’s pitch includes a proposal to put its SPY-6 radar on refitted destroyers, as the U.S. Navy plans to do. The company says that would save money and time as Japan tackles new missile threats, drones and stealth aircraft.
Lockheed Martin has a contract with Japan to build its $300 million SPY-7 radars at the two cancelled Aegis Ashore sites, but says other sites or ships are possible.
But critics say dedicating ships to missile defence pulls them away from other duties, and new destroyers can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. And Japan could face financial penalties if it pulled out of its contract with Lockheed Martin.
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