Japan to Acquire Two New Long-range Missiles

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On March 18, the Japanese Defense Ministry announced plans to develop its first domestically produced long-range standoff cruise missile with a range exceeding 400 km. This news comes less than a week after the Ministry signed a deal with a Norwegian company to procure an undisclosed number of Joint Strike Missiles, or JSM, which will be installed on Japan’s F-35 fighter jets. The JSM has a range of around 550 km.

Both missiles exceed the range of Japan’s domestically produced supersonic air-to-ship ASM-3 missile. The ASM-3 has a reported range of 100-200 km and completed testing in FY2017. Neither Japan’s FY2018 or 2019 budget financed procurement of the ASM-3; approximately $71 million, however, were allotted for procurement of the JSM. Japan’s focus on long-range defensive weapons was set by its FY2019 National Defense Program Guidelines document which requires it to develop and acquire standoff capabilities to protect its island territories.

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Jenevieve Molenda, "Japan to Acquire Two New Long-range Missiles," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 18, 2019, last modified March 18, 2019, https://missilethreat.csis.org/japan-to-acquire-two-new-long-range-missiles/.