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Japan to Approve Sub-Launched Long-Range Missile Development: Report

The Japanese government has decided to acquire submarine-launched long-range missile capability, The Mainichi reported.

The decision, to be detailed in three security documents, will be approved soon.

The underwater capability is part of Tokyo’s “counter-strike” strategy to take out enemy missile launch sites before attack.

Vertical Launch System 

The country is considering an improved version of the domestically-produced Type 12 surface-to-ship guided missile and the Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missile for the purpose.

The upgraded Type 12 is expected to have a range of 750 miles (1,207 kilometers), while the Tomahawk has a range of 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers). 

The missiles will be launched with a vertical launch system outfitted on top of the submarine’s hull, the Japanese outlet explained.

The country’s 21 submarines currently lack vertical launch capability, necessitating retrofitting.

$37 Billion in Defense Spending

The government is reportedly considering spending around 5 trillion yen ($37 billion) over the next five years to develop the capability, including 800 billion yen ($5.86 billion) on “high-speed glide weapons.”

Tokyo is also planning to acquire 13 aerial refueling and transport aircraft, 5 E2D early warning aircraft, 3 RC2 radio information collectors, and one standoff electronic warfare aircraft by fiscal 2027, according to The Mainichi.

Other planned investments include the deployment of the Patriot surface-to-air guided missile PAC 3 MSE, the new interceptor missile SM6, and two Aegis-equipped ships.

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