Japan Decides To Equip Submarine With Vertical Launching System

Japan Decides To Equip Submarine With Vertical Launching System

No one doubts Japan's ability to produce diesel electric submarines. However, there is something that is felt to be "lacking" from the Japanese submarine itself, especially in the context of facing threats from China and North Korea. Which Japanese submarines currently do not have the ability to launch ballistic missiles or cruise missiles vertically - vertical launching system (VLS).

Meanwhile, South Korea, which is also facing the same opponent, is already operating diesel submarines with VLS capabilities. Quoted from mainichi.jp (13/12/2022), it was stated that the Japanese Government had decided to have submarines equipped with vertical launchers (VLS) and capable of launching long-range missiles from underwater.

To realize the submarine, it will be determined in three documents related to security, including the Defense Development Plan, which will soon be approved by the Cabinet. The government clearly states in three security documents that it must have a “counterattack capability” (the ability to attack enemy bases) to destroy other countries' missile launch sites.

It is difficult for other countries to understand the location of submarines hidden in the sea. In an emergency, this type of submarine has the ability to counterattack from the sea and will increase the deterrent effect in the region.

The missile to be launched in a VLS manner from a submarine is an upgraded version of the Type 12 surface-to-surface missile produced domestically by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The Type 12 weighs up to 700 kg and has a range of more than 1,000 km. Another missile that could possibly be launched from a submarine is the Tomahawk purchased from the United States.

Exactly, there are two ways to launch long-range missiles from a submarine, namely using a torpedo launcher, which means shooting (in the initial phase) horizontally, and using a VLS launched from the top of the submarine's hull. Even though it will add dimensions, the VLS can launch more missiles. Therefore, the VLS method will be adopted by Japan.

Because it will involve large-scale equipment, it is being considered to include new construction, or meaning the construction of new types of submarines.

Regarding the launching of long-range missiles from the sea, Defense Minister Seiichi Hamada told the Security Committee of the Japanese House of Representatives on December 8. “Submarines have a high level of stealth. This feature can be used to force opponents to take more complex responses.”

For matters of presenting diesel-electric submarines with VLS launchers, South Korea has come first. Dosan Ahn Changho (SS 083), the inaugural unit of nine KSS-III class submarines, has the ability to launch submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), enabling South Korea to carry out an effective counterattack in the event of an escalation of war with North Korea .

The Dosan Ahn Changho Class as a diesel-electric submarine is equipped with a VLS (Vertical Launching System) ballistic missile launcher, to be exact, there are six launcher tubes that can be loaded with cruise missiles or ballistic missiles. Other weapons are six 533 mm caliber torpedo launcher tubes at the front.

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