July 20 (UPI) -- The Japanese government plans to equip its F-2 fighters from next fiscal year with a new air-to-ship missile now under development, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Wednesday.
Quoting unnamed sources, the newspaper said the new missile -- the first supersonic air-to-ship type missile developed by Japan -- will replace the Air Self-Defense Force's Type 80 and Type 93 missiles.
The speed of the new missile is roughly Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound and about three-times faster than the Type 93 missile.
"The introduction of the new missile is aimed at keeping the Chinese Navy -- which has been taking high-handed action in the East China Sea and other places -- in check," the newspaper said.
The new missile is to be tested against a retired destroyer.
Additional specifics of the missile under development were not disclosed.
Tensions between Japan and China are high over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea and Beijing's military posture in the Asia-Pacific region.