Japan to Fire Advanced Ship-Killing Missile on Australia’s Shores
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Japan to Fire Advanced Ship-Killing Missile on Australia’s Shores

Japanese forces will fire their most advanced anti-ship missile into Australian waters for the first time, ahead of large-scale multinational military exercises that begin later this week. 

The ABC can reveal Japan’s Self Defense Force (JSDF) is preparing to soon conduct a live fire demonstration of its Type 12 Surface-to-Ship missile (SSM) at a weapons range in Jervis Bay, south of Sydney.

Friday’s activity will occur on the same day Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 is formally opened in Sydney, which will this year see South Korea also showcase its much-lauded Chunmoo multiple rocket launcher system.

Chief of staff for Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force, General Morishita Yasunori, has told the ABC his country’s participation in the biennial military exercise is expanding.

“Exercise Talisman Sabre is important because it strengthens cooperation with Australia and the US, which will help maintain and strengthen a free and open Indo-Pacific,” General Yasunori said in a statement.

“I believe the SSM firing exercise in conjunction with the Australian Navy will enhance a high level of trust between Australia and Japan.”

The Type 12 Surface-to-Ship missile is a truck-mounted weapon developed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2012 which has a range of around 200 kilometres.

Japan has begun working to induct an upgraded ship-launched variant of the Type 12 SSM by 2026, which will boast an extended range of between 200km and 1,000km.

A senior defence source told the ABC this week’s Japanese missile firing on Australian soil is a logical progression for the growing military relationship with the former World War II enemy.

“It makes a lot of sense for Japan to test fire these missiles in Australia’s relatively open space rather than its own crowded and contested neighbourhood,” the high-ranking officer said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Over recent years Australian and Japanese forces have conducted more frequent and ambitious defence exercises together as both nations become increasingly concerned over China’s military ambitions in the region.

Talisman Sabre exercise director Brigadier Damian Hill confirmed the JSDF would fire its Type 12 SSM from Beecroft Weapons Range into the East Australia Exercise Area off the coast of Jervis Bay.

“This is the first time the JSDF have tested this capability in Australia and is an example of how our partnership continues to grow and deepen,” Brigadier Hill told the ABC in a statement.

“Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 will also involve a live-fire activity at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, incorporating Multi-domain Strike.”

“Multi-domain Strike is one of the ADF’s newest joint war-fighting concepts and involves synchronisation of kinetic and non-kinetic actions from all joint war-fighting domains (Land, Maritime, Air, Space and Information & Cyber).”

The 10th iteration of Exercise Talisman Sabre will run from July 22 until August 3 and will be the largest on record, with more than 30,000 military personnel participating from 13 nations.

This month, Japanese soldiers conducted live-fire artillery support for Australian troops in Queensland as part of Exercise Southern Jackaroo, a lead-up activity to Talisman Sabre, which also included US forces.

South Korea to showcase rocket technology rivalling America’s HiMars weapon

South Korean forces are this year participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre for the second time, bringing with them two warships and self-propelled howitzers, as well as a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) known as Chunmoo, which is similar to the American HiMARS technology.

Approximately 720 personnel from South Korea’s Navy and Marine Corps will take part in Talisman Sabre after the country was first invited to the exercises as official observers in 2019.

During Talisman Sabre, South Korea’s Chunmoo MLRS will be fired on Australian soil for the first time, as part of a large firepower demonstration at the Shoalwater Bay Training area in Queensland.

Unlike other militaries, Australia’s Defence Force has so far been reluctant to consider acquiring the Chunmoo technology despite it being equipped with double the number of rockets compared to the American HiMARS, as well as boasting in-flight correction.

Source : ABC