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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Japan's Air-to-Air Upgrade Japan's Air-to-Air Upgrade

Mitsubishi F-2Japan already has bought Raytheon AIM-120 Amraams, so why is it spending ¥36 billion ($468 million) to upgrade about 60 F-2 fighters with the Mitsubishi Electric Corp. AAM-4B missile?

Although the benefits to Japanese industry are obvious, details of the upgrade and the missile itself suggest that the program is giving an enormous boost to the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries fighter’s ability to counter enemy aircraft.

The weapon has at least one advanced feature that other such missiles lack: a seeker with an active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

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