Japan to Begin Mass Production of Antiship Missile

On December 25, Japan’s Ministry of Defense announced it would begin mass production of the ASM-3A, an air-launched supersonic antiship missile. Japan began developing the ASM-3 in FY 2010 and completed a flight test in 2017. Following a review of defense requirements, Tokyo postponed acquisition of the ASM-3 in favor of an upgraded variant with longer range. The ASM-3A is expected to exceed the ASM-3’s 200 km range, and a future variant, the ASM-3 (modified), will complete its development phase in FY 2025.