Sunday, 5 March 2017

Pictures suggest Japan may have tested its New XASM-3 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile

Japan May Have Tested its New XASM-3 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile for the First Time

Published: Saturday, 04 March 2017 10:44

According to several witnesses from Japan (including open sources such as spoter pictures posted on Twitter), Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has probably conducted the first live fire test of the new XASM-3 supersonic anti-ship missile. The Japanese MoD was originally planning to test the missile in 2016, as we reported in 2015, but not such test occured last year.

Spotter pictures apparently showing a JASDF F-2 fighter taking off with a XASM-3 and coming back without it. Picture via @kashiwa_D twitter.

Recent pictures published this week show a Japan Air Self-Defense Force taking off with the new missile fitted, and what appears to be coming back without the missile. This could be just a "jettison test" however and not an actual live firing against a target.

Other pictures show decommissioned Destroyer of the JMSDF, DDH-143 Shirane (first ship of the class), prepared as a "target ship" (with reflectors in place) taken out to sea by tugs.

Spotter pictures showing a JMSDF DDH-143 Shirane destroyer turned into a target ship. Picture via @mkiipen twitter.

Last but not least, two JMSDF PDF documents emmerged, the first one about "technical support" for XASM-3 test against a ship, the other one regarding modifications to turn DDH-143 Shirane into a target ship for the XASM-3 test.

3D rendering of XASM-3. Via

If the XASM-3 hasn't been tested yet, its first test by Japan's MoD is certainly imminent.

We were reporting in 2015 that the test-firing would be done at a firing range designated “G airspace” close to Komatsu air base. According to the Japanese MoD in 2015 aerodynamic and captive carry tests on F-2 fighters had been completed and was then in the final stages of prototype manufacturing.

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)

DDH-143 Shirane
The Shirane-class destroyers are a pair of Japanese destroyers originally built during the late 1970s. They are built around a large central hangar which houses up to three helicopters. They displace 7,500 tons. The second ship of the class, DDH-144 Kurama, is still in service.

Original post:

Ministry of Defense new anti-ship missile development [Tokyo newspaper]

 (July 21, 2010 07: 05 · Tokyo newspaper)

 It is understood that the Ministry of Defense has started development of a supersonic air-to-air missile (XASM 3) which casts 23 billion yen in defense expenses this year and fires from F 2 fighter aircraft and attacks a ship. It is impossible to intercept because of supersonic speed and it seems to be aiming against the Chinese Navy hurried to build aircraft carrier. (Editorial Member, Shigeru Honda) 

 Because XASM 3 attacks ships carrying high-performance anti-aircraft firearms, it flying at more than three times the speed of sound . ASM 1 and ASM 2 of the existing air-to-ship missiles were subsonic and could be shot down by ship-to-air missiles and machine guns.

 It is planned to repeat prototyping and testing over a total of 325 billion yen, to finish development by fiscal 2006 and shift to mass production.

 There are supersonic air-to-ship missiles in the United States and Russia, but both are huge and are mounted on bombers. The SDF who can not possess 'aggressive weapons' from constraints of Article 9 of the Constitution can not possess long-range bombers, so they are looking for miniaturization of missiles. We have developed XASM 3 with a total length of 6 meters and weight of 900 kilos that we can install in fighter planes.

 Meanwhile, the Chinese Navy, which is supposed to aim for the construction of aircraft carriers by the 15th year, has purchased four Sovereignay class destroyers already capable of anti-aircraft / anti-ship capability from Russia, and furthermore domestically devastated similar to Aegis warship with high air defense capability I commissioned the ship's "Lanzhou" "Haikou". Although XASM 3 will compete against these destroyers shielding the aircraft carriers, the Ministry of Defense says "we do not assume any particular country".

 China 's warship to promote the strengthening of the navy capability has advanced through the ocean waters to the Pacific Ocean, and the tensions between the Maritime Self - Defense Force are increasing. Through the development of XASM 3, the Air Self Defense Force will participate in the East China Sea and the Pacific "hegemonic war".

 The feature of XASM 3 is that it adopts a composite guidance system that detects radar waves from enemy ships and flies by flying radar waves themselves in order to increase accuracy. The propulsion unit is equipped with integral rocket ramjet (IRR) which combines a rocket and a jet.

Original post: (Translated by google)

I think the author better check his facts as Russian and Chinese fighters have supersonic anti-ship missiles……

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