The budget request is for funding to mass produce ground-launched cruise missiles – an extended range version of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-designed Type 12 missile already in use – to strike ships, and new high-velocity glide ballistic missiles capable of hitting ground targets.
The ministry is also seeking money to develop other projectiles, including hypersonic warheads.
The ministry did not give a range for the proposed weapons, or say how many it planned to field, but they would likely be able to reach targets in China if deployed along Japan’s nearby southwest Okinawa island chain.
Japan has already ordered air-launched missiles, including the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) made by Norway’s Kongsberg and Lockheed Martin Corp’s Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile (JASSM) with a range of up to 1,000 km.
Unlike with ship or ground-based launchers, however, the number it can fire is limited by how many planes it can put in the air to fire them.