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DSEI Japan 2023: Kawasaki unveils ‘Island Defence' anti-ship missile

The development of the Island Defence ASM – seen here on display at the DSEI Japan 2023 show – has been allocated funding of USD257 million in the 2023 defence budget. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has unveiled a model of a new long-range cruise missile at the DSEI Japan 2023 exhibition in Chiba.

KHI told Janes that the weapon – known tentatively as the ‘Island Defence' anti-ship missile (ASM) – is designed to be launched from warships, aircraft, and land platforms. The company said the missile could also be modified to enable launches from submarines.

A company spokesperson told Janes that KHI has been researching the concept of a precision-guided long-range cruise missile for several years. KHI now plans to develop a prototype of the new missile in alignment with Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) requirements. The company envisages JSDF induction by the late 2020s.

KHI said the missile is capable of striking targets at sea and land. The spokesperson declined to provide details on the type and weight of the warhead. Janes assesses that the missile would likely feature a high-explosive (HE) warhead.

The spokesperson said the missile is guided by an inertial navigating system (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) during its cruise phase and will use an infrared (IR) and/or a radio frequency (RF) seeker for terminal guidance.

The ship variant of the missile is capable of vertical launch and the land variant is designed for an inclined launch, the spokesperson said. The missile has a length of between 6 and 10 m, a range of more than 1,000 km, and it will be able to achieve a subsonic speed of Mach 0.8, the spokesperson added.

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