Japan's ASM-3 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is currently developing the (X)ASM-3 high-speed anti-ship missile as a successor to Japan's Type 93 (ASM-2). The new missile has an integrated solid propellant/ramjet motor and a range of 200 km. It reportedly includes a dual-mode imaging IR and active radar terminal seeker.

The missile incorporates several 'stealthy' features including a low radar cross-section design and the use of low-reflectivity composite materials. Japanese reports have suggested that XASM-3 development has been underway since the beginning of this decade. While no public announcement has been made to this effect, the Japan Defense Agency has continued to support technology items that would benefit the XASM-3, such as a ramjet propulsion system.

The first concrete evidence of the XASM-3 programme appeared in August/September 2006 when Mitsubishi F-2 test aircraft of the TRDI were seen carrying XASM-3 test missiles.


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