Long-range missiles, drones to be part of Defense Ministry budget requests

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main gate of the Defense Ministry is seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

Arming the nation at the earliest stage with long-range missiles and the prompt acquisition of drones are part of the Defense Ministry’s planned requests for the fiscal 2023 budget.

The equipment is expected to be the pillar of the government’s measures to drastically strengthen defense capabilities within five years.

The government has in mind standoff missiles that can be launched from beyond the range of enemy fire. These could be in the form of long-range cruise missiles — created from making improvements to the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Type-12 surface-to-ship guided missiles — and the surface-to-surface hyper velocity gliding projectiles currently under development. Both can be used in counterattacks to strike enemy missile launch site and other targets for the purpose of self-defense.

Drones have become indispensable in modern warfare in terms of minimizing human casualties. The ministry is aiming to begin early operation of unmanned aircraft, naval vessels and other equipment.

The ministry plans to make rough budgetary requests without defined amounts for now and decide the actual amounts during the budget compilation process at the end of this year.