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New anti-ship missile tipped for Japanese fighters

Japan reportedly plans to equip its F-2 fighter with a new supersonic anti-ship missile.

By
Richard Tomkins
Japan's F-2 fighter, developed by Mitsibishi and Lockheed Martin, is expected to carry a new air-to-ship missile currently under development. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Courtney Witt
Japan's F-2 fighter, developed by Mitsibishi and Lockheed Martin, is expected to carry a new air-to-ship missile currently under development. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Courtney Witt

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.

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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.

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