Japan’s Defense Ministry plans to accelerate the deployment of an upgraded version of Type 12 anti-ship missile. Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported that the missile is currently under development.
“Anticipating the rise of China, Japan will accelerate the strengthening of its defense capabilities,” the statement said. The Defense Department’s white paper, published in late July 2022, offers a first look at the Type 12 missile.
A photo provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of Type 12, shows a missile shaped like the AGM-158 JASSM and designated Type 12. The Type 12 surface-to-ship missile originally had a range of about 200 kilometers.
The new upgraded version aims to increase the flight range to at least 900 km, and eventually to 1,200 km. The shape of the rocket has also been changed to become invisible.
The upgraded Type 12 will also run the “Up to Date Command” (UDTC), which allows the missile to receive target information from satellite communications in flight and more accurately engage targets that are in motion.
This update to the missile’s capabilities was adopted by the Japanese government in 2020, largely amid China’s naval expansion and military buildup.
The missile must safely attack enemy naval vessels beyond the range of enemy anti-aircraft missiles. The modernized missile will be developed not only in the usual land version but also in ship and aircraft versions.
The land-based version will be developed from FY2021 to FY2025, the ship-based version will be ready from FY2022 to FY2026, and the aircraft version from FY2024 to FY2028 respectively. The Japanese government had planned to deploy a land-based version from fiscal 2026 but decided to accelerate that schedule, aiming to deploy it from fiscal 2023.