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Japan considers submarine-launched cruise missiles

5th January 2022 - 19:41 GMT | by Koji Miyake in Tokyo

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The JMSDF submarine JS Toryu utilises lithium-ion batteries, and would be a prime candidate for submarine-launched cruise missiles. (Koji Miyake)

Japan is exploring the possibility of equipping its submarines with cruise missiles that can be launched from underwater — but it has never done this before.

Tokyo is considering equipping its submarines with a new underwater-launched cruise missile useful for both island defence and attacking enemy bases, according to the Yomiuri newspaper.

The latest Taigei-class submarines of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) are equipped with lithium-ion batteries for stealthy operation and underwater mobility, so they could be ideal platforms for launching missiles.

The new cruise missile will be based on the 200km-range Type 12 anti-ship missile. Its initial maximum range will be 900km, ultimately developing to 1,500km.

Japan’s military has been developing an improved Type 12 missile but it will take five years to create

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