Japan Deploys Improved Type 12 Surface-Surface Missile Ahead of Schedule

According to Japanese media, the Ministry of Defense has deployed the improved Type 12 Surface-to-Surface Missile ahead of its original 2026 deployment date. The announcement from NHK reads below:

“The Ministry of Defense has moved forward the deployment schedule for an improved version of the Type 12 surface-to-ship guided missile, which can also be used for counterattack capabilities to attack enemy missile launch bases, from 2026.

The Type 12 surface-to-ship guided missile is a domestically produced guided missile deployed by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and the Ministry of Defense has modified it to extend its range and use it as a counterattack capability to attack enemy missile launch bases.

The Ministry of Defense had planned to deploy this improved version in fiscal 2026, but in light of the increasingly severe security environment, the Ministry of Defense decided to bring it forward.”

The Japanese Ministry of Defense has deployed the Type 12 since 2015 after improving the design of the truck-launched Type 88 surface-surface missile. The design was then improved to fit on Maya-class destroyers in VLS tubes. This third iteration is now capable of acting as an anti-ship surface missile and land attack cruise missile. The plan was approved by the Japanese government in 2020 to be deployed by 2026, but has been deployed now in order to increase an enhanced threat from both China and Russia.

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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