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13 Apr 2023

Japan invests $3 billion with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for long-range missile development

Japan invests $3 billion with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for long-range missile development
Originally posted on Army Recognition

In a major announcement on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, Japan's Defense Ministry revealed that it has entered into agreements valued at approximately $3 billion with leading defense manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the development and large-scale production of advanced long-range missiles, with potential deployment as soon as 2026.

Included in these contracts are upgraded variants of Mitsubishi's Type 12 missiles for surface, sea, and air launch capabilities, as well as a cutting-edge hypersonic ballistic missile designed to bolster the defense of the nation's remote islands.

In response to growing concerns about China's increasing military power and assertiveness in the region, Japan has been taking significant steps to bolster its defense capabilities. This includes entering into contracts with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop and mass-produce advanced long-range missiles and hypersonic ballistic missiles. These efforts aim to enhance Japan's ability to protect its territory, particularly remote islands, and maintain regional stability in the face of potential threats from China.

The Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile (SSM-12) is a Japanese truck-mounted anti-ship missile system developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. It was introduced in 2015 as a successor to the older Type 88 Surface-to-Ship Missile. The Type 12 missile features improved guidance and navigation systems, as well as a longer range compared to its predecessor. The missile system is designed to target enemy ships and is capable of being launched from land-based platforms, naval vessels, and potentially aircraft.

The operational range of the Type 12 missile varies depending on its version. The standard land-based variant has a range of 200 km (108 nautical miles; 124 miles), while the improved ship and air-launched versions can reach up to 400 km (216 nautical miles; 249 miles). Future versions of the missile are expected to achieve even greater distances, with plans to extend the range up to at least 1,500 km (810 nautical miles; 932 miles).

In terms of guidance systems, the Type 12 missile utilizes inertial guidance, GPS, and terminal Ka-band Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar homing for enhanced accuracy. This advanced guidance system ensures that the missile can effectively track and target enemy ships in various conditions.

The Type 12 missile can be launched from various platforms, including trucks manufactured by Oshkosh and Mitsubishi. This versatility enables the missile system to be easily deployed and used in a variety of tactical scenarios, contributing to Japan's efforts to strengthen its defense capabilities amidst regional security concerns.

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