The Japanese Ministry of Defense has planned to expand the range of the Type 12 missile system from an estimated 200 km to 1,000 km, and also enable its launch from ships and aircraft.

For the Japan Self-Defense Forces, it is clear that its primary concern is maritime defense capabilities and naval power to counter threats from the sea. If a conflict with potential adversaries arise, Tokyo’s anti-ship cruise missile batteries would play an important role. According to Janes, Japan is upgrading its Type 12 surface-to-ship missile system to strengthen the country’s defenses, with a longer range.

Accordingly, the Japanese Ministry of Defense has planned to expand the range of the Type 12 missile system from an estimated 200 km to 1,000 km, and also enable its launch from ships and aircraft. It will have a stealthy shape to reduce RCS, as well as high mobility to prevent interception from the enemy. The Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile is a truck-mounted anti-ship missile developed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2012. It is an upgrade of the Type 88 Surface-to-Ship Missile.

Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile
Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile

A Type 12 battery typically has four launcher vehicles, four ammunition carriers, two radar vehicles, and two more trucks with fire control and communication systems. Each Type 12 launcher carries six missiles weighing 1,500 pounds that cruise towards the general position of a targeted vessel using a combination of inertia, GPS, and terrain-contour mapping for navigation. The missile skims about twenty feet above the sea, activating a high-resolution active electronically scanned array radar seeker.

This coastal defense missile system uses an 8×8 heavy high mobility chassis. It is similar to that of the Type 03 air defense missile system. In fact it is a modified Type 02 heavy recovery vehicle chassis, developed by Mitsubishi.

The ship-launched derivative of Type 12, designated as Type 17 (SSM-2) missile has been put into service and it is to start deploying from Maya-class destroyer. The range has doubled to 400 kilometers and is also planning to re-apply for the improved version of the surface-to-ship system and the air-launched variant for the P-1 patrol aircraft. According to Japanese newspapers, the range will be extended from 200 km to 900 km, with a future target of 1,500 km.

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