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Japan unveils new version of its anti-ship missile for first time


For the first time, Japan has unveiled a new version of its domestically developed ASM-3 supersonic anti-ship missile.

The upgraded missile was spotted during Japan’s Vice Defense Minister Tomohiro Yamamoto visit at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki Minami factory in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture.

The ASM-3 is a long-range air-launched anti-ship missile designed for Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) F-2 multirole fighter jets. The missile’s guidance unit employs an active / passive radar composite seeker, and the passive radar has the ability to continue to track and defeat the jammer or radar section even if the active radar is disturbed or targeted by electronic warfare. There is speculation that this passive radar will allow it to operate like a ground-based radar missile (ARM) on a limited basis.

The weapon’s development period of basis version ran from 2003 to 2017, during which a total of 15 test launches proved the design’s viability. Research and development costs totalled 39 billion yen, approximately $367 million.

The advanced version has visual differences with bases configuration: the upgraded missile has a new design of the body and air intake and also large dimensions.

Some sources reported that the new missile will extend the range to more than 400 km.

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