Japan Plans Antiship Hypersonic Missile

Japan’s Defense Ministry plans to incorporate an antiship capability on its future hypersonic missiles, according to a February 25 Mainichi Shimbun report. In a 2019 paper, the ministry’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency outlined plans to introduce a ground-launched hypersonic glide vehicle by fiscal 2026 and a more ambitious, high-lift system by fiscal 2028 or later. Due to concerns over Japan’s constitutional obligations, the ministry has considered limiting the missiles’ ranges to under 500 km. Japan reportedly began investigating hypersonic weapons for attacking fixed targets in 2018. MoD officials plan to spend $226 million on hypersonic research in fiscal 2020.