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Japan progresses hypersonic and long-range missile programmes

The upgraded Type 12 SSM will have a range of 1,000 km. The original version, pictured above, has a range of 200 km. While the original Type 12 SSM was designed as a land-based anti-ship missile, the upgraded variant can be launched from land, aircraft, and surface combatants. (Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force)

Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has signed a contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to develop and mass-produce upgraded Type 12 surface-to-ship missiles (SSMs).

The MoD also signed the contracts to mass-produce hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) and develop a submarine-launched guided missile with MHI.

An MoD spokesperson told Janes the ministry allocated JPY33.8 billion (USD253 million) for the development of Type 12 SSMs in the 2023 budget draft and expects the total cost required for research and development to be approximately JPY150 billion.

β€œThe development of [the] upgraded Type 12 SSMs is scheduled to be completed in financial year (FY) 2028,” the spokesperson added.

According to the MoD, the upgraded Type 12 SSM can be launched from land, aircraft, and surface combatants.

Janes assesses that the features of the upgraded Type 12 SSM include an extended range from 200–1,000 km, an increased missile length, a modified shape, an up-to-date command (UTDC) link, and increased engine endurance to support longer operations.

Japan refers to its HGV programme as the Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP) project.

In FY 2023 budgetary documents, the MoD allocated funding to the HVGP project worth JPY50.5 billion. A total of 31% of this funding has been allocated to research and the remainder to early production activities.

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