Today: Wednesday, 22 May 2024 year

Japan will equip self-defense forces with Tomahawk missiles by 2026.

Japan will equip self-defense forces with Tomahawk missiles by 2026.

Japan will commission the Tomahawk missile by fiscal year 2026, in line with three key defense and security documents approved by the government on Friday.

The three documents are the National Security Strategy, which defines the main directions of foreign policy in the field of defense, the National Defense Strategy, which outlines the goals and means of defense, and the Defense Capability Plan, which determines the overall defense spending and the scope of weapons .

Three documents indicated an increase in Japan’s defense spending to the level of 2% of GDP. Earlier, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida outlined the goal of increasing defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2027. This is approximately 11 trillion yen ($81 billion). Military spending in the current fiscal year 2022 was 5.4 trillion yen ($40 billion), roughly 1.24% of GDP.

The “National Security Strategy” and “National Defense Strategy” spell out the possession of “retaliatory strike capabilities”, which implies the defeat of enemy bases. So far, these possibilities have been implied in Japan’s right to self-defense, but not spelled out. In this sense, this change is a significant turn in Japan’s defense policy.

Earlier it was reported that in order to strengthen the “defensive response,” Japan is modifying the so-called “type 12 anti-ship missiles” as part of a program to develop stand-off missiles that can hit the enemy from a zone beyond its reach. They should become one of the types of replacement for the American Aegis Ashore ground-based missile defense system, which Japan refused to deploy in 2020 due to the threat of upper stages falling on residential areas. The possibility of equipping destroyers, fighters and submarines with them is being discussed. The modified missiles will be able to hit targets at a distance of more than 1,000 kilometers. The high range of missiles after modification will allow, if necessary, to hit targets in China or North Korea. However, equipping the self-defense forces with them will begin no earlier than 2026. In this connection, the government of Japan began considering the possibility of acquiring Tomahawk missiles to strengthen the defense capability and deterrence forces for this period.