The Japanese government plans to allocate several hundred million of yen in a budgetary request for fiscal year 2018 for the mass production of new air-to-ship missiles to equip the Japan Air Self-Defence Force’s (JASDF) F-2 Fighters.
The missile is currently under production, sources said, and will be the first supersonic air-to-ship type to be made in the country. It will travel significantly fast, with a speed of around Mach 3 – on par with the most advanced missiles of the same variety overseas – thus significantly reducing the time required to hit the target. The new missile can also fly at a low altitude, close to the water surface to evade radar detection. All these characteristics will make it particularly difficult to intercept.
Japan is hastening efforts to improve the performance of its defence equipment to counter China, which is building up its maritime capacity.
Dr. Alix Valenti