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Japan taps Mitsubishi Heavy for sub-launched standoff missiles

Company wins $2.83bn in contracts for upgraded weapons and hypersonic vehicles

A Maritime Self-Defense Force Taigei-class submarine docks at the Port of Yokohama for Fleet Week in November. (Photo by Konosuke Urata)

TOKYO -- Japan has awarded a contract to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop submarine-launched standoff missiles as part of developing the country's counterstrike capabilities, the government said Tuesday.

The new weapons, with an expected range of around 1,000 kilometers, are designed to strike sites such as enemy missile bases. Equipping them on submarines, which are mobile and difficult to detect, makes the missiles a more effective deterrent by complicating enemy counterattacks. Development is expected to last until fiscal 2027.

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