The Type-96 Multi-Purpose Missile System is a fiber-optic guided missile system with infrared image seeker against landing craft and tanks. The FY1996 national government's budget allocates equipment funds for a "multiple target guided missile system." The reason that the term "multiple target" was used in the name was to show that the system is to be able to handle targets other than tanks and ships. This is to be a revolutionary new system in which targets that are difficult for the operator to see directly, such as air-cushioned water craft, hovering helicopters, and structures located in difficult terrain will be detected by an infrared sensor in the forward part of the missile and the information relayed by optical fibers to the screen of the guidance device, where the operator can monitor things on the screen and make adjustments. (This is known as the optical fiber TVM infrared imaging guidance method).
Moreover, in order to enhance the concealibility of the launch device, this system incorporates another special feature for the first time, a vertical firing mode. Compared to conventional anti- tank ordnance, this system will be rather large. The critical component elements for development will be quite varied, including guidance firing weapons, optical fiber reels, image transmission equipment, vertical launch devices and combat command systems for use at the company level, as well as the related software for these functions. This will be Japan's first missile system in which all digital control has been provided for the guidance, command, and control functions.
Development of the this new heavy MAT commenced in FY1990. In August 1995, the Ground Self-Defense Force [GSDF] completed its practical testing. During that interval, KHI as the manufacturer was responsible for testing and test support.
Contractor Entered Service Total length Diameter Wingspan Weight Warhead Weight Propulsion Maximum Speed Maximum effective range Guidance mode Single-shot hit probability