Janes reported that Japan is upgrading its Type 12 surface-to-ship missile (SSM) systems to enhance its stand-off defence capabilities. A spokesperson from Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) told Janes on 9 February that the objective of the Type 12 upgrade is a longer firing range. The Type 12 missile system will feature improvements such as increased length and a different shape to achieve that goal. In addition, the launch platform’s engine is being upgraded for increased endurance to support longer operations. The spokesperson did not share further details on the Type 12 upgrade programme targets. Previously reported that the MoD planned to extend the missile system’s range from an estimated 200 km to 1,000 km, and also enable its launch from ships and aircraft.
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. The Type 12 features INS with mid-course GPS guidance and better precision due to enhanced Terrain Contour Matching and target discrimination capabilities. The weapon is networked, where initial and mid-course targeting can be provided by other platforms, and also boasts shorter reload times, reduced lifecycle costs, and a range of 124 mi (108 nmi; 200 km). The missile shares the same Ka-band Active Electronic Scanned Array(AESA) radar seeker with Japanese BVRAAM missile, AAM-4B.
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. The MoD approved the development of an improved version of the Type 12 SSM on December 18, 2020 by the Cabinet. According to Japanese newspapers, the range will be extended from 200 km to 900 km, with a future target of 1,500 km. It will have a stealthy shape to reduce RCS, as well as high mobility to prevent interception from the enemy.