Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) on conducted a missile interceptor drill involving PAC-3 systems in Nagaihama Beach, Fukui, on Monday, amid caution over North Korea's repeated ballistic missile test-firings.
“On Nov 28, Koku-jieitai (JASDF) conducted PAC-3 and KBSAM maneuver deployment training in Nagaihama Beach, Fukui. Koku-jieitai will continue to maintain its high proficiency and the necessary readiness for any contingency,” JASDF confirmed in a tweet.
PAC-3 is designed to shoot down approaching missiles that evade sea-based interceptors fired from Japan’s Aegis destroyers. Japan’s short-range cruise-missile interceptor, the KBSAM, was designed to protect against cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles.
"We need to deploy (the PAC-3 system) smoothly and anywhere," Lt. Col. Takashi Chikama, who commanded the drill, told reporters. "North Korea has launched missiles at an unprecedented pace in recent years."
The non-live fire exercise was held in the central prefecture of Fukui, which hosts a number of nuclear plants.
During the exercise, trucks carrying two interceptor launch pads were set up on a beach 7km south of Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear plant by 35 personnel, who finished their preparations in about 20 minutes.