A new top-of-the-line U.S. guided missile destroyer was deployed to Japan on Saturday, amid tensions over North Korea’s missile tests.
The USS Mustin sailed into the port of Yokosuka, home to the Navy’s 7th Fleet, with a crew of 300 for permanent assignment to the region, 7th Fleet spokeswoman Hanako Tomizuka said.
The Mustin, commissioned in 2003, is one of the most advanced in the fleet. Its deployment to Yokosuka was previously planned and not in response to North Korea’s missile tests, Tomizuka said.
Pyongyang stunned the region on Wednesday by test-firing seven missiles.
In August, Yokosuka will also welcome the USS Shiloh, which last month demonstrated its ability to shoot down missile warheads in a landmark test off the coast of Hawaii.
Both the Mustin and the Shiloh are equipped with radar systems that employ so-called Aegis technology, which is geared toward tracking and shooting down enemy missiles. The system was instrumental in identifying and assessing Wednesday’s missile launc hings, which all fell apparently harmlessly into the Sea of Japan.
The U.S. Navy now has eight Aegis-equipped vessels at Yokosuka.