Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has completed the first flight of an advanced technology demonstrator jet, X-2, for the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).
X2 is being developed by the Japanese Ministry of Defense Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) for research purposes.
The aircraft took off from Nagoya Airport and landed at JASDF’s Gifu Air Base after completing the maiden flight.
The test validated the defence aircraft’s basic manoeuvres including climbing, descent and circling operations.
MHI pilot said: "Control of the aircraft went exactly as in our simulated training sessions.
"And after piloting the aircraft I’m 100% positive the X-2 is magnificent and will meet the Ministry of Defense’s requirements."
Designed for extremely high-manoeuvrability, X-2 is said to be the first in Japan to feature stealth technology, which will make the aircraft less visible (ideally invisible) to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection methods.
The prototype integrates an airframe, engines, and other advanced systems and equipment all adaptable to future fighters, MHI said.
MHI has been developing the aircraft’s airframe since 2009 in cooperation with 220 domestic companies and guidance from Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA).
The 14.174m-long stealth plane comes with self-repairing flight control capability, which will allow the aircraft to automatically detect failures or damage in its flight control surfaces, and using the remaining control surfaces, calibrate accordingly to retain controlled flight.
Image: Mitsubishi completes first flight of X-2. Photo: courtesy of Japan Air Self-Defense Force.