Monday, October 10, 2022

Modernization of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

New and not yet built ships of the Japanese Navy with an upgraded tracking and guidance system Aegis will be able not only to carry out missile defense tasks, but also to launch long-range missiles capable of attacking the territory of a potential enemy, being outside the zone of its destruction. In size, they will correspond to light aircraft carriers, which will soon enter service in the country’s naval forces.

Two of these new ships are planned to be transferred to the Navy in 2027 and 2028. They will have a displacement of approximately 20,000 tons and a length of 210 meters. For comparison, the Japanese Izumo helicopter carrier, which is currently being converted into a light aircraft carrier, has a displacement of 19.5 thousand tons and a length of 248 meters.

These two new and rather massive ships will be equipped with especially powerful radars for ground-based missile defense systems Aegis Ashore. Tokyo previously refused to place them on the territory of the country. The large size will make it possible to place numerous mines for various types of missiles on these ships. In addition to providing for the needs of missile defense, they will be able to launch missiles capable of delivering long-range strikes against land and sea targets while outside the enemy’s kill zone.

Their type has not yet been reported. However, in addition to strikes on missile bases in North Korea, Japanese experts also talk about the need to disable military airfields and missile facilities in China’s coastal regions in the event of a conflict over Taiwan.

The new ships, Tokyo believes, will be more efficient than its current eight Aegis-equipped ships. This will allow, according to the plan of the command, to more successfully redistribute the forces of the Navy to counter both the DPRK and China in the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea.

Japan currently has a two-tier missile defense system. Ships equipped with Aegis systems are armed with SM-3 interceptor missiles, which are supposed to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles in the middle stage of the trajectory.

If this fails, a second level of missile defense will be activated using US-made Patriot PAC-3 mobile ground installations capable of intercepting the missile at the final stage of its flight. In addition, it is planned to use modernized Type-3 medium-range anti-aircraft missiles of our own design to combat cruise missiles.

At the same time, the Japanese armed forces do not yet have the means to combat hypersonic combat systems. To accelerate the development of means to intercept such weapons, the draft state budget for fiscal year 2023 is expected to allocate separate funds, the amounts of which have not yet been announced.