New JSDF cruise missile, aka 'Japanese Tomahawk'

Grey Havoc

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Though in some respects it would be closer to a navalised/Gryphon-ised AGM-129.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004078720

Japanese version of Tomahawk eyed


8:20 pm, November 20, 2017


The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government is considering developing a cruise missile capable of striking targets on the ground.

The Defense Ministry plans to start research on antiship missiles from fiscal 2018, and it is considering adding land-attack capabilities to the missiles. If realized, it will be the first time for Japan to develop land-attack cruise missiles on a full scale.

The key aim of the plan is to regain control of remote islands occupied by enemies, but the new cruise missile will be technically able to attack enemy bases, which is expected to heighten deterrence of North Korea.

Cruise missiles are precision guided weapons that head for targets using on-board radar and other equipment. Compared to ballistic missiles that fly on a parabolic curve and come from above, cruise missiles fly level using wings and jet engines, just like aircraft. Since the envisaged cruise missiles have much in common with the U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile, officials of the Defense Ministry position the planned cruise missiles as a “Japanese version of the Tomahawk.”

The Defense Ministry asked for ¥7.7 billion in its budget request for fiscal 2018 for research on a new antiship guided missile to defend remote islands. The ministry announced that it would start research on new antiship missiles, and it is considering incorporating land-attack missile functions that have many technical commonalities. The ministry aims to build a test model by fiscal 2022.

In the planning stage, the envisaged antiship cruise missile will have a range of over 300 kilometers, and be capable of being launched from special vehicles, destroyers, P1 patrol aircraft, fighter jets and other places. The missile will fly low using GPS and other devices, switch to on-board radar just before reaching a target, and destroy it.

With a shape that enhances its stealth capability, the new missile will be better able than U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles of escaping enemies’ radar nets. In addition, the ministry also will consider introducing functions to enable the new missile to avoid interceptions more easily, such as changing directions during flight.


The government is considering developing land-attack, antiship cruise missiles due to a sense of urgency over the Chinese military, which is pushing to modernize itself in tandem with its maritime advancement. If the missiles are deployed, Japan’s ability to attack vessels approaching remote islands or ground forces landing on such islands will significantly increase. If vessels or aircraft equipped with the missile are deployed near enemy bases, they can be used to attack bases.

However, the government takes the stance that Japan is allowed to have the capability to attack enemy bases under the Constitution, but will not possess the capability as a policy decision from the perspective of the country’s exclusively defense-oriented policy. Within the government and the Liberal Democratic Party, there is the opinion that Japan should have the capability to attack enemy bases given the situation surrounding North Korea. However, the government will promote the development of the new cruise missile focusing on the defense of remote islands.

Among defense equipment developed by the Japanese government in the past, its antiship missiles can be categorized as cruise missiles, such as vehicle-mounted Type 88 surface-to-ship guided missiles; Type 90 ship-to-ship guided missiles, which are an improved version of the Type 88 missile; and Type 93 air-to-ship guided missiles.
This appears to be a separate project to the JGSDF's IRBM program.
 

sferrin

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Sounds like a customer for JASSM-ER / LRASM. ;)
 

Hood

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This sounds very much like the earlier solid-fueled 300km weapon linked earlier (August 2016). Could it be journalistic inaccuracy making both sound like separate programmes or have the JSDF simply looked at the range of options and found the cruise-missile is the better option as being more flexible and offering the advantages of additional range and multiple platforms?
 

DrRansom

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If there is a push for a Japanese Tomahawk, I strongly suspect that this will be a purely internal development process. A Japanese Tomahawk is an obvious candidate for a nuclear weapon delivery platform, so I expect the Japanese to try and develop it in-house, so as to internally develop the industrial knowledge.
 

Grey Havoc

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sferrin said:
Sounds like a customer for JASSM-ER / LRASM. ;)
The Japanese appear to have a pretty poor opinion of that missile family, though this may be somewhat coloured by the ongoing difficulties they are having with Lockheed Martin re. the F-35J.

Hood said:
This sounds very much like the earlier solid-fueled 300km weapon linked earlier (August 2016). Could it be journalistic inaccuracy making both sound like separate programmes or have the JSDF simply looked at the range of options and found the cruise-missile is the better option as being more flexible and offering the advantages of additional range and multiple platforms?
While there is some operational overlap, the two programs are aimed at different requirements overall. Though the article does seem to have muddled the details a bit. Other sources suggest that the new missile's range will actually be at least in excess of 400km/216 nautical miles. The GSDF's IRBM is intended as a rapid response, MTCR compliant (at least in theory) weapon for helping to defend the outer islands from an aggressor, while the JSDF's new cruise missile would appear to planned as a post-MTCR general purpose (again in theory) multi-platform weapon for hopefully deterring an enemy from hostilities in the first place. As DrRansom alluded to, the mere potential of a cruise missile to be utilised as a nuclear weapons delivery system would be a deterrent in itself, though only up to a point.

The IRBM is currently scheduled to enter service in 2023, while, based on it's known/inferred development schedule, the cruise missile won't be entering service before 2025 at the earliest, barring a crash program. Perhaps tellingly, it looks like the JSDF may be bypassing the Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency on this program (the GSDF are already handling their new missile in-house) which if true is likely to give rise to speculation that that agency is about to get the chop or at least a severe overhaul. Much like it's counterparts in the United States (DLA) and the United Kingdom (DE&S) it is in a right old mess, and no mistake.
 

starviking

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Grey Havoc said:
The IRBM is currently scheduled to enter service in 2023, while, based on it's known/inferred development schedule, the cruise missile won't be entering service before 2025 at the earliest, barring a crash program.
Is there any publically available information on this IRBM? I ask because it seems very strange for such a project to be going on in Japan with no criticism from the generally pacifistic opposition parties.
 

sferrin

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Grey Havoc said:
sferrin said:
Sounds like a customer for JASSM-ER / LRASM. ;)
The Japanese appear to have a pretty poor opinion of that missile family, though this may be somewhat coloured by the ongoing difficulties they are having with Lockheed Martin re. the F-35J.
What "ongoing difficulties" are they having with the F-35J? What evidence is there that they have a "poor opinion" of the JASSM family? Just curious. Any misgivings with Lockheed, if true, don't seem to have affected sales of PAC-3 to Japan.
 

Grey Havoc

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Sorry, my entire post got wiped out by a browser glitch, I'll have to try again tomorrow. Argh!!!


EDIT: One quick note though, I was wrong about the F-35J designation being adopted.
 

marauder2048

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Grey Havoc said:
The GSDF's IRBM is intended as a rapid response, MTCR compliant
An MTCR compliant, conventionally armed IRBM is practically a contradiction in terms.

Reposting slide: Japan's evident interest in LRPF co-development/co-production is potentially relevant here.
 

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elmayerle

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sferrin said:
Sounds like a customer for JASSM-ER / LRASM. ;)
Perhaps they can purchase the data and IP on Northrop-Grumman's ill-fated TSSAM (AGM-137A/BGM-137B)?
 

sferrin

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elmayerle said:
sferrin said:
Sounds like a customer for JASSM-ER / LRASM. ;)
Perhaps they can purchase the data and IP on Northrop-Grumman's ill-fated TSSAM (AGM-137A/BGM-137B)?
Would the US sell? Also, wouldn't they see that is a risky compared to just buying something off a running production line?
 

kaiserbill

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Or maybe they will, you know, develop their own missile.
 

sferrin

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kaiserbill said:
Or maybe they will, you know, develop their own missile.
For real? Say it ain't so.
 

kaiserbill

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sferrin said:
Sounds like a customer for JASSM-ER / LRASM. ;)
Yes, for real.
Not everything has to turn XXX-centric as some like to push.
Japan has developed a few of their own turbojet powered anti-ship missiles with ranges approaching 200km. (ASM-1 and ASM-2)
They are also busy bringing the ramjet powered ASM-3 to fruition.
Postwar, Japan has designed and built turbojets, and low and high bypass turbofans.
The type of cruise missile intimated in the press reports are well within their scope, and fits in with their other munitions/weapons development.

Maybe they will develop their own missile, as they're intimating in the press reports.
Personal wishlists of what others want them to buy are neither here nor there.

EDIT: In the original post, it indeed seems to be that they are wanting to develop an anti-ship missile, with a land attack derivitive. I'm not sure where this leaves a Tomahawk type cruise missile, nor indeed the upcoming ramjet powered ASM-3 in the scheme of things.
 

sferrin

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kaiserbill said:
sferrin said:
Sounds like a customer for JASSM-ER / LRASM. ;)
Yes, for real.
Not everything has to turn XXX-centric as some like to push.
Japan has developed a few of their own turbojet powered anti-ship missiles with ranges approaching 200km. (ASM-1 and ASM-2)
They are also busy bringing the ramjet powered ASM-3 to fruition.
Postwar, Japan has designed and built turbojets, and low and high bypass turbofans.
The type of cruise missile intimated in the press reports are well within their scope, and fits in with their other munitions/weapons development.

Maybe they will develop their own missile, as they're intimating in the press reports.
Personal wishlists of what others want them to buy are neither here nor there.
Why does it bother you so much? My initial comment was partially in jest, partially in "it makes sense" since it would be off the shelf. Not once did I ever indicate Japan couldn't or shouldn't build their own. I am well aware of their competence there.

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5491.msg311405.html#msg311405
 

kaiserbill

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It bothers me because of the invariable clutter and derailing that occurs. Your link above is a case in point. The discussion in that thread ceased to be about Japanese missiles, and became about the B1 bomber/US weapons/wishlists. The same thing happens on some indigineous fighter threads, where some can't resist dropping the F-3youknowwhat into almost every one of those threads. As somebody interested in the actual and various indigineous projects, it's wearying.
Not aimed at you..just a general observation.
Anyhow...
 

kaiserbill

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Anyway, below is an edit from my previous post"
EDIT: In the original post, it indeed seems to be that they are wanting to develop an anti-ship missile, with a land attack derivitive. I'm not sure where this leaves a Tomahawk type cruise missile, nor indeed the upcoming ramjet powered ASM-3 in the scheme of things.
 

starviking

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kaiserbill said:
Anyway, below is an edit from my previous post"
EDIT: In the original post, it indeed seems to be that they are wanting to develop an anti-ship missile, with a land attack derivitive. I'm not sure where this leaves a Tomahawk type cruise missile, nor indeed the upcoming ramjet powered ASM-3 in the scheme of things.
Given the short range, I'd guess an ASM-3 or derivative wouldn't be out of the question. Depends on how much bang they want, I guess. Also, Japan tends to import foreign words and tack them on to things with a vague resemblance, so I wouldn't read much into "Japanese Tomahawk".
 

starviking

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marauder2048 said:
Grey Havoc said:
The GSDF's IRBM is intended as a rapid response, MTCR compliant
An MTCR compliant, conventionally armed IRBM is practically a contradiction in terms.

Reposting slide: Japan's evident interest in LRPF co-development/co-production is potentially relevant here.
This answers my earlier question on why there have been no protests about this. If it's used in the MLRS it won't have the "image" the public has about ballistic missiles.
 

kaiserbill

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Starviking, that was basically what I was thinking too, hence why I mentioned the ASM-1 through to 3 regarding range.
These are approaching 200km already, so when the article in the original post stated ranges required of around 300km, and then toward the end intimated a link with an anti-ship variant, I immediately thought of a longer ranged ASM-3.
But could a ram-jet powered vehicle really be described as a "cruise" missile? ;D
 

starviking

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kaiserbill said:
Starviking, that was basically what I was thinking too, hence why I mentioned the ASM-1 through to 3 regarding range.
These are approaching 200km already, so when the article in the original post stated ranges required of around 300km, and then toward the end intimated a link with an anti-ship variant, I immediately thought of a longer ranged ASM-3.
But could a ram-jet powered vehicle really be described as a "cruise" missile? ;D
Given how sped-up Japanese tours are, 'cos of the short holidays - it may for Japan ;)
 

mrmalaya

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I apologise if this is totally daft, but I wonder, what with the talk of shared missile development etc whether the UK has anything to offer in terms of joint development.

The nice thing about the Anglo/Japanese partnership is that there is shared interest, requirement and ability.
 

sferrin

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kaiserbill said:
But could a ram-jet powered vehicle really be described as a "cruise" missile? ;D
Depends on the range I'd think. Things like Navaho, Triton, Rigel, Buran, and Burya were all ramjet powered missiles meant to fly hundred or thousands of miles. More recently there were Meteorit (Kh-80) and GELA (Kh-90).
 

mrmalaya

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oh, look here is an article which may have some bearing on the topic:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Japan-and-UK-to-collaborate-on-missile-development
 

sferrin

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mrmalaya said:
oh, look here is an article which may have some bearing on the topic:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Japan-and-UK-to-collaborate-on-missile-development
That's for an air-to-air missile.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
mrmalaya said:
oh, look here is an article which may have some bearing on the topic:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Japan-and-UK-to-collaborate-on-missile-development
That's for an air-to-air missile.
That's what I thought but from the article:

A former Air Self-Defense Force general said that "if the U.K. hands engine technology over to Japan,
we can use it to develop anti-ship missiles and other weapons as well."
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
mrmalaya said:
oh, look here is an article which may have some bearing on the topic:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Japan-and-UK-to-collaborate-on-missile-development
That's for an air-to-air missile.
That's what I thought but from the article:

A former Air Self-Defense Force general said that "if the U.K. hands engine technology over to Japan,
we can use it to develop anti-ship missiles and other weapons as well."
Hmmm. One would think Japan would already have suitable small turbofan technology. (The engine used in the UK's Storm Shadow is French.) ???
 

mrmalaya

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Well if we are reading the article right, it is more likely to refer to the replacement for Storm Shadow - which is 2030 onwards and is dual role cruise and anti-shipping at this stage:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseus_(missile)

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,28806.msg303145.html#msg303145

All a bit tentative though.
 

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sferrin said:
Hmmm. One would think Japan would already have suitable small turbofan technology. (The engine used in the UK's Storm Shadow is French.) ???
I read that comment as referring to Meteor's ramjet technology, no need to bring Storm Shadow into a Meteor-related project.
 

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The fastest way would likely be extrapolating ASM-2. Making it somewhat like Popeye Turbo. No need to reinvent the wheel or reinvest on expensive lifting body.

Land attack Ramjet cruise missile approach is possible, BUT likely to be larger due to need to have a rocket booster and some portion of the trajectory would be at high altitude.

I think.
 

sferrin

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DWG said:
sferrin said:
Hmmm. One would think Japan would already have suitable small turbofan technology. (The engine used in the UK's Storm Shadow is French.) ???
I read that comment as referring to Meteor's ramjet technology, no need to bring Storm Shadow into a Meteor-related project.
They've already got ramjet technology in hand though in the form of ASM-3.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
DWG said:
sferrin said:
Hmmm. One would think Japan would already have suitable small turbofan technology. (The engine used in the UK's Storm Shadow is French.) ???
I read that comment as referring to Meteor's ramjet technology, no need to bring Storm Shadow into a Meteor-related project.
They've already got ramjet technology in hand though in the form of ASM-3.
What type of ramjet is used in the ASM-3?
A VFDR would offer better high-altitude ("high-diver") performance than an L/SFRJ.

Curious what the Japanese took away from their experiences with GQM-163.
 

Hood

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I'm not sure we should be reading too much into these newspaper reports.
Meteor is a mix of European companies work, the propulsion system is designed and manufactured by the Germany company Bayern-Chemie.

Anyhow its not a new development, it was announced as far back as 14 January 2016, the whole purpose seems to be to marry the AESA seeker of the AAM-4B with Meteor. I've read the AAM-4B seeker is superior to the current Meteor MBDA/Thales set. So its possible to read "...fiscal 2023, at which point Japan and the U.K. will decide whether to put the weapon into mass production" as meaning the UK would consider buying the Japanese version of Meteor, probably for its own F-35 fleet.

Anyhow, I don't think a retired general's musings offer anything concrete, he's just speculating that if the engine technology was made available that it might be possible to adapt it.
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
DWG said:
sferrin said:
Hmmm. One would think Japan would already have suitable small turbofan technology. (The engine used in the UK's Storm Shadow is French.) ???
I read that comment as referring to Meteor's ramjet technology, no need to bring Storm Shadow into a Meteor-related project.
They've already got ramjet technology in hand though in the form of ASM-3.
What type of ramjet is used in the ASM-3?
A VFDR would offer better high-altitude ("high-diver") performance than an L/SFRJ.

Curious what the Japanese took away from their experiences with GQM-163.
http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/july-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5405-japan-to-produce-and-procure-xasm-3-supersonic-anti-ship-missile-in-2018.html
 

marauder2048

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sferrin

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Called it:

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/international/japan-to-buy-longrange-missiles-for-first-time

"TOKYO (CNN) - Japan will for the first time buy long-range missiles to counter the country's "increasingly severe" national security situation, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.

"We will implement stand-off missiles capable of defending ourselves adequately, when we are outside the range of the opponent, in order to ensure the safety of the Self Defense Force and to defend our nation effectively," Onodera told reporters.

A spokesman from Onodera's office told CNN Japan will be purchasing two types of missiles -- Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (LRASM & JASSM) -- from Lockheed Martin to put on its F-15 fighter jets. "
 
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