Japan considers deployment of 1,000km long range cruise missiles to deter China & N. Korea

Japan is considering the deployment of 1,000 long-range cruise missiles to boost its counterattack capability against China, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday. The missiles would be existing arms modified to extend their range from 100 km (62 miles) to 1,000 km, the daily said, citing government sources.

Japan, which interprets its war-renouncing postwar constitution to mean it may use its military only for self-defence, has stepped up its military spending and taken a more assertive strategy in recent years.

The missiles, Japan's Type-12 - in service since 2015, can be launched by ships or aircraft, and would be stationed mainly around the southern Nansei islands and capable of reaching the coastal areas of North Korea and China, the Yomiuri said.

According to documents released by the Ministry of Defence, the increased range will be achieved by extending the size of the wings and the altitude at which the jet engines can operate allowing the Type-12 SSM to fly at a higher altitude than before.

This capability was added recently to allow the missile to be air-launched from Japan's F-15 strike-fighters.

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