Japan Cancels Plan to Equip F-15 Jets with Antiship Missile

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry will drop a plan to equip the Air Self-Defense Force's F-15 fighter jets with U.S.-made long-range antiship missiles, informed sources said Thursday.

The ministry had initially planned to arm the fighter jets with the LRASM missile to bolster the defense of outlying islands, but it canceled the plan due to a steep rise in costs, according to the sources.

As an alternative measure, the ministry is planning to equip F-2 fighter jets and successor aircraft with the air-launched variant of the Japan-made Type-12 surface-to-ship missile, the sources said.

The LRASM, manufactured by U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp., has a range of about 900 kilometers.

With China in mind, Japan had planned to introduce the LRASM as a standoff missile, which can be launched from outside the range of opponents, such as fleets that are attempting to invade a remote island.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press