The US State Department has approved Japan’s potential purchase of the Tomahawk Weapon System and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.35 billion.
Japan requested to purchase various elements of the Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS) from the US, including up to 200 Tomahawk Block IV All Up Rounds (AURs) (RGM-109E), up to 200 Tomahawk Block V AURs (RGM-109E), and 14 Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control Systems (TTWCS).
The purchase includes support for the TWS, such as containers, feasibility studies, software, hardware, training, unscheduled missile maintenance, spares, communication equipment, operational flight tests, publications, and engineering and technical expertise to maintain the TWS capability.
The estimated cost of the purchase is $2.35 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has already delivered the required certification to notify Congress of this possible sale.
Japan is planning to acquire the Tomahawk Weapon System for its ‘counterstrike’ capabilities as a deterrent to potential threats from Russia, China, and North Korea. The Defense White Paper of Japan has recently criticized the three countries. Russia has been condemned for invading Ukraine. China has been criticized for its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas and for its military activities in the vicinity of Taiwan. North Korea has been criticized for launching ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Tokyo is planning to use Tomahawk missiles to address immediate gaps while it works on extending the range of its own Type-12 standoff missiles. The Defense Ministry has also stated that it is exploring the option of acquiring its own domestically produced standoff missiles at an earlier date, but has not provided any further information.
The Tomahawk is a subsonic cruise missile launched from surface ships and submarines, providing a long-range, deep-strike capability.