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The Mitsubishi AAM-3 is a short-range air-to-air missile, that was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, it is used by the Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) under the designation Type-90. It was developed to replace the aging American AIM-9L Sidewinder.

History and Design[]

In the middle of the 1980´s it was realizd that the AIM-9L Sidewinder became outdated and after the AAM-2 program was cancelled, Japan was equipped only with aged short-range missiles. So that in the year 1985 the Technical Research and Development Institute Ministry of Defense (TRDI) started development of a short-range air-to-air missile, based on the AIM-9L Sidewinder but with many upgrades. A special two colour IR-seeker was included to provide better distinction of IR-countermeasures and an aircraft and the special design of the missile´s canards provides excellent stability and manoeuvrability, while a kind of shockwave arises at the nose of the missile.

In the year 1990 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was chosen to develop the AAM-3. The Japanese Air Self Defence Force ordered about 400 missiles, which were mounted on the McDonnell F-4EJ, McDonnell Douglas F-15J and the Mitsubishi F-2, which resulted from the FS-X program.