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US Approves JASSM-ER Air-Launched Missile Sale to Japan

The US State Department has approved Japan’s request to buy 50 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles with Extended Range (JASSM-ER) and related gear.

The estimated $104-million potential purchase announcement follows a reported Japanese Ministry of Defence disclosure that the long-range weapon is one of the two missiles that would be configured to arm military transport aircraft. 

The other missile is an air-launched version of the Type 12 surface-to-ship indigenous guided missile planned for development. 

Counter-Strike Option

The transport-aircraft-launched missile capability is planned as a counter-strike option against adversary missile launch bases, including ships, in the event of a possible conflict.

“The proposed sale will improve Japan’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing stand-off capability via advanced, long-range strike systems for employment on Japan Air Self-Defense Force fighter aircraft including but not limited to the F-15J,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated.

The sale includes training, software, technical documents, and logistical, engineering, and program support.


The JASSM extended version entered service in 2014 and has been integrated with a number of US Air Force aircraft, including the B-1, B-52, F-15E, and F-16.

The service also plans to arm its B-2 Spirit stealth bomber fleet with the missile, which has an estimated range of 900 kilometers (559 miles), more than twice the missile’s baseline version.

It has also been outfitted with the US Navy’s fleet of F/A-18E/F and F-35C fighters.

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