The Japan’s Vice Defense Minister Tomohiro Yamamoto intentionally released a photo showing ATLA’s Hypersonic Anti-Ship Missile this week. On July 7, Japan’s Vice Defense Minister Tomohiro Yamamoto visited the research center for aviation and rocket technology of the Self-Defense Forces, located in a suburb of Tokyo. Contrary to what has been reported in other media or blogs, Naval News Japanese contributor Yoshihiro Inaba explains that this leak was purely intentional. Japan’s Vice Defense Minister also posted a picture to its Twitter account that included what looked like a hypersonic guided missile able to attack both ships or ground targets.
— 山本ともひろ℗ (@ty_polepole) July 7, 2020
The new hypersonic anti-ship missile aims to be powered by a Dual-Mode Scramjet engine (DMSJ), a combination of ramjet and scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) engines, to fly at a wide range of speeds, including hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 or higher. the missile also can cruise at high altitudes at hypersonic speeds while manoeuvring, making it difficult for enemy air defence systems to intercept it. The combined guidance system of satellite and inertial navigation will be used to guide the hypersonic guided missile. In addition, radio and lightwave image seekers will be used to identify targets, and this missile will be capable of all-weather operations.
The new missile designed to cruise at high altitudes and could pose a threat to Chinese aircraft carriers in the East China Sea and qualified as “game-changer” by the Japanese Ministry of Defense’s agency. Development work of this new missile began in 2019 and is set to be completed in the 2030s. ATLA (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency) is currently in the development phase of the scramjet engine along with local company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which won a contract for the prototype engine research. The hypersonic guided missile is able to attack both ships or ground targets.