WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department and the Japanese Ministry of Defense have deployed a second ballistic missile defense radar in Japan to better protect both countries from an attack from North Korea, the Defense Department announced Dec. 26 in a press release.

The move is part of a broad change in missile defense strategy first outlined by then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in March 2013 aimed at countering the North Korean threat.

The AN/TPY-2, built by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, will bolster surveillance of the area already covered by a radar at Shariki in northern Japan. The second radar is housed at the newly built Kyogamisaki Communications site and will be used by U.S. Pacific and Northern commands, the release said.

In October, Raytheon delivered the 10th AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

Five AN/TPY-2 radars are currently deployed as forward-based sensors for U.S. missile defenses, including in Turkey and Israel.

U.S. intelligence agencies estimate more than 6,300 ballistic missiles exist outside the control of the United States, NATO, China and Russia.

Meanwhile, Raytheon received a $45 million contract modification from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency for the production of key components of the radar and for kits to upgrade the radar’s processing speed, the Pentagon announced Dec. 19.

Raytheon executives have said they can increase the processing speed of the AN/TPY-2 by five times, an improvement the company says will help the sensor better discriminate between incoming missiles and decoys.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.