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Japan to Produce and Procure XASM-3 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile in 2018
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XASM 3 F2 Japan JASDF anti ship missile 1
According to Japanese news site Yomiuri Online, Japan's next geenration XASM-3 supersonic anti-ship missile will enter mass production in 2018. The missile will also be officially introduced with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), it will then be called ASM-3. The Japanese MoD likely conducted a test earlier this year as we previously reported.
 
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Naval Forces News - Japan
 
 
 
Japan to Produce and Procure XASM-3 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile in 2018
 
According to Japanese news site Yomiuri Online, Japan's next geenration XASM-3 supersonic anti-ship missile will enter mass production in 2018. The missile will also be officially introduced with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), it will then be called ASM-3. The Japanese MoD likely conducted a test earlier this year as we previously reported.
     
XASM 3 F2 Japan JASDF anti ship missile 1Two XASM-3 missiles fitted on a Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 Fighter during recent tests (May 2017). Picture via twitter @MR2AW11SP
     
According to the Japanese MoD, aerodynamic and captive carry tests on F-2 fighters had been completed in 2015 and the missile was then in the final stages of prototype manufacturing.

Yomiuri Online says that ASM-3 is characterized as being "difficult to intercept" because of its speed and is an answer to the Chinese Navy (PLAN) recent "aggressive activities in the East China Sea".
     
Video showing Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 Fighter fitted with two XASM-3 missiles. Video from maplef12
     
XASM-3 is capable of reaching Mach 3 speeds thanks to its ramjet engine fed by two air intakes (in a similar fashion to MBDA's Meteor air to air missile of to the French ASMP-A air-launched tactical nuclear missile). XASM-3 is flying close to sea level in the final stage of attack to reduce probability of detection and intercept.

XASM-3 basic specifications:

Overall length: 5.25m
Maximum speed: Mach 3 or more
Firing range: 80nm (about 150km) or more
Weight: 900kg
Power: Integral Rocket Ramjet
Navigation and seeker: inertial / GPS (intermediate stage) + active / passive seeker (terminal phase)

We recently reported that a similar missile, the XSSM intended for the Japanese Navy (JMSDF) was also tested earlier this year.
     
XASM 3 F2 Japan JASDF anti ship missile 2Two XASM-3 missiles fitted on a Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 Fighter during recent tests (May 2017). Picture via twitter @durum_semolina