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TRDI concluded Japanese Medium-Range Ship-to-Air Missile program called XRIM-4 that sought to replace RIM-162 ESSM in Japanese service. XRIM-4 is the first operational SAM, again, to leverage AAM-4's proven AESA seeker technology (which is now on the table for application on MBDA Meteor). Japan temporarily dropped this missile program for shipborne use because it meant that they had to share a large portion of missile's data with the US for integration on VLS (and by extension, giving a glimpse of the missile's characteristics to other users of MK.41). In order for Japan to field this missile on ships, Japan would have to develop a whole new VLS for it as well (which Japan decided not to for the time being). So Japan first adapted XRIM-4 for use with the Chu-SAM Kai of JGSDF, which does have an indigenous missile launch system.

Although developed for naval vessels had been promoted, is XRIM-4, which was shelved in order to develop type RIM-7 Sea Sparrow has been adopted (photos back). AAM-4, which became the prototype, can be seen that are quite large in size. Point of interest is the nozzle of the missile in the TVC (thrust deflection control). XRIM-4 is to launch vertically from VLS of vessels, make the attitude change in the target direction by TVC immediately after launch.

XRIM-4's forced compatibility with the MK.41 seems to have been an important factor in Japan's decision to call off (but only for now) fielding it on ships. Actually, if you have noticed, there is no non-US missile, that wasn't developed at least partly with the US, that has ever been integrated on the MK.41 (For a fairly good reason, now I think, since MK.41 is the world's best-selling VLS design and also highly ubiquitous.)

As an extension of XRIM-4 research, Japan's indigenous land-based BMD called N-SAM (Network SAM) further improves Type 03 Chu-SAM's existing capabilities to intercept ballistic missiles and supersonic/hypersonic targets. N-SAM was introduced in an August 2015 article of Aviation Week and also at Advanced Technology Symposium 2015. Japan already exhibited the core component of that new missile (a real one, not model). More models of XRIM-4 was also displayed there.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 28-12-2016 15:40:34 ZULU