Defense Min. Seeking Early Deployment of Long-Range SSM

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 31 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry on Wednesday released its fiscal 2023 budget request, seeking a record high of 5,594.7 billion yen as well as unspecified amounts of funds for many items including the early deployment of a long-range surface-to-ship missile, or SSM.

The ministry aims to bring forward the planned deployment of an improved version of the Type 12 SSM, with a firing range of about 1,000 kilometers, up from over 100 kilometers with the existing version, by three years and put it into operation in fiscal 2026.

The improved version of the Type 12 SSM, which is also capable of attacking ground targets, would be a potent tool if Japan decides to acquire counterstrike capabilities for attacking targets such as the missile launch bases of enemies for self-defense purposes.

The government will make a decision on the matter while proceeding with discussions on revisions late this year of the National Security Strategy and two other key security documents.

The ministry's budget request includes 27.2 billion yen for costs to develop the improved version of the SSM, including types that can be launched from a vessel and aircraft, and 16.6 billion yen for research costs for a high-speed glide bomb, which would be used for recapturing islands in times of possible enemy invasion.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press