Japan aims to develop its own stand-off cruise missile that can be launched from aircraft, warships and land-based defense systems to engage targets on land and at sea, The Drive reported Tuesday.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, said that Japan’s defense ministry would study the addition of a land-attack capability to existing anti-ship missile development programs and that research and development would begin in fiscal year 2018.
The report did not specify the future missile’s features but described the weapon as a Japanese version of the Raytheon-made Tomahawk land attack missiles.
Japan could integrate new long-range cruise missiles with the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense architecture that the country is planning to buy, or purchase Tomahawks for those systems as a supplement to its own weapons, The Drive reported.
The Japanese military could use its own cruise missile to address security threats posed by North Korea as well as tensions in the East China Sea, the report noted.