Japan aiming to deploy upgraded anti-ship missiles earlier than planned

Japan's Defense Ministry has decided to fast-track the deployment of an upgraded version of the Ground Self-Defense Force's anti-ship missile, due to increasingly serious security environment surrounding the country.

The Type-12 surface-to-ship missile is a domestically-produced guided missile.

The defense ministry has been upgrading the Japanese-made missile to give it a longer range. It hopes the missile will enhance the country's counterstrike capabilities in operations, such as attacks against an enemy's missile launch sites.

The ministry originally planned to deploy upgraded Type-12 missiles in fiscal 2026.

The ministry has yet to decide how much sooner it will deploy them. But in the draft supplementary budget for the current fiscal year, it earmarked 152.3 billion yen, or about 1 billion dollars, for the procurement of upgraded Type-12 missiles and high-speed glide bombs that can be used to defend the country's remote islands.

Japan plans to purchase 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States for counterstrike capabilities. It plans to deploy 200 of them starting in fiscal 2025. That is one year earlier than originally planned.