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The Mitsubishi AAM-4 (Type 99 air-to-air missile, 99式空対空誘導弾 (99 Shiki Kūtaikū Yūdōdan)) is a medium-range active radar homing air-to-air missile, considered as modern beyond-visual-range missile developed in Japan and intended to replace the semi-active radar homing AIM-7 Sparrow missile in service. It has been operational since 1999. The main contractor is Mitsubishi Electric.


The improved AAM-4B was the world's first air-to-air missile with an AESA radar seeker.[1] The AAM-4B entered production in 2010 for service on the F-15J and F-2,[2] but it is too large to be carried in the weapons bay of the F-35 Lightning II.[1] So on 17 July 2014 Japan announced a collaboration with the United Kingdom[2] to study the development of a new Joint New Air-to-Air Missile (JNAAM). MBDA UK is prime contractor on the Meteor missile which entered service on the Saab JAS 39 Gripen in 2016 and on the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale in 2018,[3] and can fit in the internal weapons bay of the F-35.[4] It has a unique variable-flow ramjet motor that according to MBDA gives the Meteor the largest no-escape zone of any air-to-air missile.[5] The JNAAM will "[combine] the UK's missile-related technologies and Japanese seeker technologies",[6] possibly with some adjustments to help the missile fit better in the F-35 weapons bay.


AAM-4B Prototype
  • AAM-4 - Original version with 100 kilometres (62 mi) range that entered service in 1999.
  • AAM-4B - Improved version introduced in 2010 with a Ka band millimetric frequency AESA seeker[7] and 120 km (75 mi) range.[8] The seeker also utilized to the Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile.
  • XRIM-4 - Naval surface-launched variant, project was previously canceled but effectively resurrected in 2016.[9]
  • Ducted rocket flying object - Throttleable Ducted Rocket (TDR) Test model.




See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mizokami, Kyle (28 January 2016). "Revealed: Japan's New Fighter Prototype". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Perrett, Bradley (17 July 2014). "Japan, Britain To Collaborate On Meteor Guidance". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  3. ^ Hoyle, Craig (16 June 2015). "PARIS: MBDA on target for Meteor introduction". Flight Global. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Japan, UK Announce Increased Defense And Security Cooperation". Defense News. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Meteor". MBDA Systems. 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Japan reveals details of joint missile project with UK". janes.com. Retrieved 14 May 2016. citing a Japanese MoD spokesman
  7. ^ Defense Agency Technical Research & Development Institute 50 Years of History, II 技術研究開発 8.第3研究所(II Technology Research and Development 8. Third laboratory) TRDI50_10.pdf file page.278-279 - Japan National Diet Library, 2002
  8. ^ Japan Upgrading 60 F-2s With AAM-4, J/APG-2
  9. ^ JMSDF Resurrecting XRIM-4 Naval Surface-Launched Variant of AAM-4 - Navyrecognition.com, 5 September 2016
  10. ^ FAS AAM4
  11. ^ Global Security AAM4
  12. ^ Japan Builds A Better AMRAAM
  13. ^ Japan Upgrades Air-to-Air

External links[edit]