The ASM-3 is a supersonic missile could prove to be the game-changer for Japan to counter the Chinese warships.
The ASM-3 is a long-range supersonic anti-ship missile designed for the F-2 multirole fighter of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. ASM-3 is being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to replace ASM-1 and ASM-2 missiles.
Development of the core version of ASM-3 took place from 2003-2017, 15 trials have proven its effectiveness. The total research and development cost for this missile was 39 billion yen, or $367 million.
The ASM-3 missile was declared complete by Japan in 2017, but so far this weapon has not officially entered service because the range is only 200km.
According to public information, ASM-3 weighs 940 kg, length is 6m, and diameter is 0.35m. Overall, the ASM-3 is similar in design to MBDA’s Meteor air-to-air missile. ASM-3 can reach Mach 3 with a ramjet engine fed by two air intakes.
The missile has two rectangular, fixed geometry supersonic inlets underneath the body, four control fins, a gas generator chamber, and a ram combustor.
The propulsion system uses an integral rocket ramjet, which is initially driven by a solid rocket, and when it reaches a speed at which the ramjet engine can be started, it opens the air intake and places the booster in the combustion chamber of the ramjet engine.
The guidance unit employs an active 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. The tracking data from the radar measurements are then used to calculate the proper guidance signals to direct the projectile to the target.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense made awarded in 2020 a 8.9 billion yen contract ($85 million) to local defense company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the the development of ASM-3. The development of the ASM-3 will be carried out from 2020 to 2025.
In order to reduce costs and shorten the development period, the size of the main body will remain unchanged from the ASM-3, and the range will be extended by reducing the overall weight of the missile.
|Place of origin||Japan|
|Used by||Japan Air Self-Defense Force|
|Manufacturer||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|Mass||940 kg (2,070 lb)|
|Length||6 m (20 ft)|
|Engine||Integral Rocket Ramjet|
|Original: 150–200 km (81–108 nmi; 93–124 mi)|
Extended Range: 400 km (220 nmi; 250 mi)
|Maximum speed||Mach 3+|
|Inertial/GPS, mid-course correction|
terminal guidance: Active radar homing/Passive radar guidance