The Japanese Ministry of Defence plans to strengthen its forces fundamentally. Not only did it allocate a record defence budget for fiscal year 2024. It also invests in defence programmes. as the Japanese Cabinet approved $56 billion for fiscal year 2024.
On Friday, the Cabinet approved a more than 16 per cent rise in defence spending in 2024, which will speed up the deployment of long-range cruise missiles capable of hitting targets in China and North Korea.
The 7.95 trillion yen ($56 billion) budget for the fiscal year beginning in March is in line with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s goal of doubling defence spending to the NATO standard of 2 per cent of GDP by 2027, and it falls under the government’s new security strategy, which it adopted a year ago.
One of Japan’s significant programmes to green light will be maritime. Japan will begin the construction of the first ship in the next fiscal year with a $2.59 allocated budget.
The defence ministry chose Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-7 solid-state radars (SSRs) for the two ASEVs over Raytheon’s AN/SPY-6 radar, which was initially built for US Navy warships outfitted with the Aegis Combat System. Japan’s four Kongo-class destroyers also use Lockheed Martin’s AN/SPY-1 radars. The ASEV is positioned as the cornerstone of Japan’s missile defence, primarily in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile threat.
According to the ministry, the ASEV will be 1.7 times larger than the US Navy’s latest Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.
The crew of the ASEV will number around 240, far lower than the Maya-class destroyer’s 300. The first ASEV is expected to be delivered to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) in 2027, followed by the second in 2028.
The ASEV’s primary armament is similar to that of two Maya-class ships, with a Mk-45 (Mod.4) 5-inch/62-calibre (127mm) main cannon, SM-3 Block IIA and SM-6 missiles.
Starting in fiscal year 2032, the new ships will be outfitted with armament systems such as a long-range, ship-launched, enhanced version of the Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile (SSM), US-made Tomahawk cruise missiles, and high-power anti-drone laser systems, according to the defence ministry.
As of late August, the government forecasts each vessel’s construction cost to be around 395 billion yen.