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Japan’s Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile: Rising Power in Ground Self-Defense Force-Part 3

Daniel Kim Views  

Future Developments: Extending the Reach and Stealth Capabilities

According to the reports, the new missile will be developed based on the existing ground-to-ship missile. The Japanese Ministry of Defense will increase the range of the truck-mounted Type 12 ground-to-ship guided missile deployed on Miyako Island in the Okinawa and Miyako Strait from 93 to 124 miles to 621 miles over five years. It most notably plans to add stealth capabilities to evade enemy radar networks. The new missile will also be improved for launch from land, ships, and aircraft.

A budget of $287 million has been set for this. If the range is 621 miles, Japan can instantly strike North Korea. Depending on the launch location, it can also reach China, becoming an offensive weapon system. It plans to elevate the Type 12 ground-to-ship missile to the level of the U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile.

With the extension of the range, the entire waters between Taiwan and the Okinawa Islands and between Miyako Island and Okinawa are within the range of Miyako Island, located in the center of the Okinawa Islands. Thus, it is evaluated that the JGSDF has established a basis to block the Pacific route of the Chinese Navy’s East Sea Fleet with ground-to-ship missiles alone.

일본판 ‘토마호크’ 日육상자위대 ‘12식 지대함 미사일’ 위력은[이현호 기자의 밀리터리!톡]
Wikipedia

In 2022, Japan revised its security-related laws, allowing them to counter-attack enemy bases. This has also allowed the introduction of various strike weapons, such as long-range cruise missiles and hypersonic missiles. As a result, Japanese defense companies have unveiled various new weapons. For instance, at the 2023 DSEI Defense Exhibition in Japan, Kawasaki Heavy Industries showcased a long-range stealth cruise missile model. This differs from previous exhibitions where Mitsubishi Heavy Industries exclusively developed and produced various missiles, such as anti-ship missiles.

Japan has announced the development of a long-range anti-ship and ground cruise missile. The missile will be an upgraded version of the existing Type 12 ground-to-ship missile, ranging from 621 to 932 miles. This missile will have stealth features and wings to improve flight distance and maneuverability. The development has attracted attention from local and international media. This missile is expected to be crucial in counter-attacking enemy bases in crisis and has been dubbed the Japanese version of the Tomahawk. Its maximum range is reported to be 1,243 miles.

Japanese Tomahawk Can Also Attack China

Japan reportedly plans to develop and deploy long-range missiles in three stages to defend the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyudao Qundao in Chinese). The first stage involves operating long-range cruise missiles (improved Type 12 ground-to-ship missiles) with a range of about 621 miles from 2026. These missiles will be deployed in the Nansei Islands in southwestern Japan. In the second stage, missiles with a range of over 1,243 miles will be deployed in Honshu. These missiles will include high-speed glide bombs for island defense, which are difficult to intercept.

After that, it plans to complete the preparation for practical use of ground-based types by 2025, ship-based types by 2026, and fighter-mounted types by 2028. The development cost for this is $856 million. The distance from mainland Japan to Beijing, China, is 932 miles.

The Type 12 ground-to-ship missile is a Harpoon-class missile. If it is deployed in actual combat as an improved type, as Japan plans, it will be a Japanese version of the Tomahawk missile. Harpoon and Tomahawk use the same or similar jet engines, and only the appearance, fuel quantity, and warhead weight differ.

To Read Part 1…
To Read Part 2…

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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