Japan unveils first stealth fighter

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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edpop

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Unread post29 Jan 2016, 02:27

Vietnam veteran (Combat Engineer) 1967
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durahawk

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Unread post29 Jan 2016, 19:01

This Thursday, Japan’s new Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency revealed the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Advanced Technology Demonstrator – Experimental (ATD-X) fifth-generation fighter technology demonstrator, now dubbed X-2 and unofficially named ‘ShinShin,’ to the media at a heavily guarded hangar at a regional airport near the city of Komaki, in Aichi Prefecture. It has previously been showcased once already in May 2014.

The X-2 is the country’s first domestically produced full-scale test model—a technology demonstrator—of a new indigenous stealth fighter jet design, which has been under development at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plant in Toyoyama since 2009, with total program costs estimated at 39.4 billion yen (around $331 million).

The aircraft—an “advanced technology demonstration unit,” according to the Defense Technical Research and Development Institute –unveiled to the press will not be armed and is slated to be retired in three years, after having undergone extensive tests of advanced fifth-generation fighter technologies, for which Japan’s Defense Ministry has allocated 2.3 billion yen ($19.3 million) in the next fiscal year alone. It will be a testbed platform for multiple technologies including next generation electronically scanned array radar systems, multi-dimensional 3D thrust vectoring concepts, and fine-tune the aircraft’s stealth capabilities. (The X-2 features a special carbon-fiber composite material that absorbs radar waves.)

As I reported previously (See: “Japan’s 5th Generation Stealth Fighter to Make Maiden Flight in Early 2016”), the X-2 program’s goal is to eventually produce Japan’s first indigenously-designed fifth-generation air superiority fighter, designated F-3, with serial production slated to begin in 2027, although various delays in the development of the X-2 prototype including issues with the engine control software –scheduled to be fully developed by 2018– make a later date more likely.

The X-2 with a length of 14.2 meters and a wingspan of 9.1meters is scheduled to make its maiden flight in February 2016. I explained in my earlier piece:


Prior to its first test-flight, the aircraft will undergo extensive taxiing and ground trials at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries testing center located in Aichi Prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshu. From there the fighter prototype is expected to fly to Gifu Air Field, an airbase of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, situated in the neighboring prefecture of Gifu sometime in February.

Lockheed-Martin is purported involved in the development of the X-2 prototype. The American aircraft maker was prohibited from selling its F-22 Raptor stealth air superiority fighter to Japan in the 2000s, causing Tokyo’s defense industry to kick-start development of the X-2.

The aircraft unveiled this Thursday is the only X-2 prototype constructed so far.
http://thediplomat.com/2016/01/japan-unveils-new-5th-generation-stealth-fighter-jet/


If Lockheed is really aiding Japan in developing the X-2, I can't imagine them willingly doing so if they thought it was a potential competitor...? Or is this part of the F-35 deal to work with Japan in developing an indigenous fighter?
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Unread post29 Jan 2016, 20:28

IIRC, Japan is very strict on weapons sale abroad (I guess it has to do with their peaceful constitution?), so it shouldn't be much of a competition. It's more a technology demonstrator than a fighter plane anyway.
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Unread post29 Jan 2016, 21:21

alex_f wrote:IIRC, Japan is very strict on weapons sale abroad (I guess it has to do with their peaceful constitution?), so it shouldn't be much of a competition. It's more a technology demonstrator than a fighter plane anyway.


I think they lifted the export ban last year:
Japan’s self-imposed arms export embargo began modestly in 1967, based on the “three principles” of not exporting arms to communist states, states subject to UN arms embargoes, and states involved in or likely to be involved in international conflicts. Eventually, the policy evolved into a full-scale arms export ban, with only a few exceptions for technology transfers to the U.S. until Prime Minister Shinzo Abe overturned the ban in April 2014.

Under the new policy, Japan will continue the restriction of exports to states subject to UN embargoes (specifically Iran and North Korea) or involved in conflicts, but will allow exports in cases that will contribute to global peace and serve Japan’s security interests. The Abe government will also seek to make the process of defense exports and technology cooperation more transparent and to restrict the process so weapons will not be sold to third parties. In Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga’s words, the new policy “will contribute to peace and international cooperation from the standpoint of proactive pacifism.”
http://thediplomat.com/2015/01/japans-first-steps-into-the-world-of-arms-exports/


It's a shame Japan and South Korea don't get along well, otherwise I would say ATD-X and KF-X have quite similar objectives and would benefit from collaboration. Though I suppose this would be a moot point if the real end goal here is to develop and score national pride points for their respective aerospace industries...
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Unread post29 Jan 2016, 22:03

I don't see it as much of a threat in the export market. Something like the F-2 vs the F-16. It's a jobs-generator for Tokyo and affordability would be my big question ie. It's gonna be pricey. Who will they sell it to? By then, many potential buyers would have gone with the F-35. Countries who aren't in Washington's good graces will make do with Russian or Chinese jets.

If LM can make money, it will seize the opportunity.
Last edited by popcorn on 29 Jan 2016, 22:47, edited 1 time in total.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post29 Jan 2016, 22:42

It's a shame Japan and South Korea don't get along well, otherwise I would say ATD-X and KF-X have quite similar objectives and would benefit from collaboration. Though I suppose this would be a moot point if the real end goal here is to develop and score national pride points for their respective aerospace industries...


I think a collaboration would actually be highly beneficial to both; those are good points. However, they can still score national pride points having both of them design and build in a collaboration (provided one doesn't muscle the other out in terms of design or manufacturing). Heck, Lockheed is purported to be working with South Korea on the KF-X anyways, why not just do a threeway :wink: . Cost can be shared, more can be made, and it might create a better aircraft at the end of the day, and improves and strengthens political relationships. (yes yes, I'm naive and optimistic AF)
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Unread post29 Jan 2016, 23:43

Maybe the Japanese can partner up with the Germans.






Uh, wait a minute..
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Unread post30 Jan 2016, 00:24

I'm curious as to the Japanese state-of-the-art in terms of engine tech. Everyone aside from the Americans seem to struggle in this area.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post30 Jan 2016, 01:28

popcorn wrote:I'm curious as to the Japanese state-of-the-art in terms of engine tech. Everyone aside from the Americans seem to struggle in this area.

Europeans seem to be doing okay as well with the EJ200.
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Unread post30 Jan 2016, 07:18

Its great to see this coming out of Japan but I really do not see the point in it especially when they're getting the F-35. Also I wonder if "critics" like Don Bacon (I put critics in quotes because that individual is just a douche-F**k) would follow that program and talk self inflated smack about it?
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Unread post30 Jan 2016, 09:25

I don't see the F-3 as being in direct competition to the F-35, as the requirement for the ATD-X is to develop a primarily air superiority platform as opposed to the JSF program that was to developed primarily for strike purposes.

In the end the F-3 will be very attractive to air forces who want the A-A capabilities of a 5th generation fighter but don't necessarily need the air to surface capabilities of the F-35.
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Unread post31 Jan 2016, 05:22

zero-one wrote:I don't see the F-3 as being in direct competition to the F-35, as the requirement for the ATD-X is to develop a primarily air superiority platform as opposed to the JSF program that was to developed primarily for strike purposes.

In the end the F-3 will be very attractive to air forces who want the A-A capabilities of a 5th generation fighter but don't necessarily need the air to surface capabilities of the F-35.


I thought Japan with their constitution doesn't allow Japan to sell military arms to other nations.
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Unread post31 Jan 2016, 08:52

Please correct me if I'm wrong
If I remember correctly Japan's constitution doesn't allow them to sell arms to nations:
1. Who are under UN weapons import embargo
2. who are likely to go to war
3. And I forgot the 3rd one,

But it does allow them to export to nations who are trying to secure peace and stability in their region.
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Unread post31 Jan 2016, 08:56

Judging the book by it's cover it looks like the X-2 is tailored specifically for the air-air scenario as what was mentioned by Japanese media as well.

At least with it's X-31 style Thrust Vectoring nozzles is it safe to assume that the X-2 is aiming to have better slow speed and supersonic maneuverability than the F-35.

If you are reading this Sprst.... what can you say about the X-2's aerodynamic layout? is it aiming to compete against the Raptor in Kinematics?
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Unread post31 Jan 2016, 12:38

zero-one wrote:At least with it's X-31 style Thrust Vectoring nozzles is it safe to assume that the X-2 is aiming to have better slow speed and supersonic maneuverability than the F-35.

If you are reading this Sprst.... what can you say about the X-2's aerodynamic layout? is it aiming to compete against the Raptor in Kinematics?


without a powerful enough engine I don't think the X-2 or future F-3 would be in the same league. It would still be good just not "Raptor level" good.
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