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6 décembre 2015 7 06 /12 /décembre /2015 12:35
Japan Preparing to Test-Fly MHI-Built Stealth Jet

Like China, South Korea and Turkey, Japan is looking at stealth fighters, and should fly the Mitsubishi-built ATD-X demonstrator during the first quarter of 2016. (Japan MoD photo)

Dec 3, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: The Japan Times; published Dec 3, 2015)


Japan is closing in on becoming the fourth nation to test fly its own stealth jet, a move that could further antagonize neighboring Asian countries that oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to strengthen the role of the Self-Defense Forces.

The aircraft is scheduled to make its maiden flight within the first three months of next year, Hirofumi Doi, a program manager at the Defense Ministry, said in an interview in Tokyo. The plane, called Advanced Technology Demonstrator X, will then be handed over to the SDF, which will start conducting its own tests, he said.

The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.-made plane builds on Abe’s military ambitions after he succeeded in pushing through U.S.-endorsed legislation to allow Japanese forces to fight in overseas conflicts, despite concerns voiced abroad and at home. Japanese militarism is a particularly sensitive topic for China and South Korea because of the aggression they endured before and during World War II.

“The security environment around Japan is becoming increasingly complex and Japan needs to maintain air capabilities commensurate to those of other air forces in the region,” said Rukmani Gupta, an analyst in New Delhi at IHS Jane’s. “Should the ATD-X test be deemed successful, it is very likely that Japan will pursue production of a next-generation fighter.”

The 14-meter-long jet, equipped with engines from IHI Corp., will cost ¥40 billion ($325 million) to develop, Doi said. The ATD-X could become the basis for a new fighter jet to replace the nation’s F-2, said Takahiro Yoshida, a director in the ministry.

Should Japan decide to make a fighter jet version, its engines would be about three times the strength of the stealth jet’s, and the plane would have enough internal space for missiles, Doi said.

It’s not certain that Japan will go ahead with the project.

“These experimental fighters are an exercise in the realm of the possible,” said Lance Gatling, head of aerospace consultancy Nexial Research. “In terms of international relations, it’s a bargaining chip. They can say: ‘We did a credible job on this, we may just build our own if you don’t give us a better deal or you don’t give us a portion of the production in Japan.'”

IHI is fully supporting flight tests of the latest jet, said Yuki Takahashi, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman. Hideo Ikuno, a spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy in Tokyo, declined comment on the jet’s development.

The U.S., Russia and China have all built and flown stealth planes, known as fifth-generation jets, which are harder to detect by radar. Other countries such as India and Turkey are also developing stealth jets, according to Gupta at IHS Jane’s. South Korea and Indonesia are also investing in the joint development of a next-generation fighter aircraft, he said.

Back in Japan, the government will make a decision on a replacement for its F-2 fighter jets by the end of March 2019, Doi said.

“We’re building this in preparation for the development of a new fighter jet,” Doi said. “Neighboring countries are developing stealth jets and so this research is to allow us to understand what technology is needed for such a project.”

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3 septembre 2014 3 03 /09 /septembre /2014 11:35
A défaut de F-22, le Japon mise sur l’ATD-X Shinshin


2 septembre 2014 par Aerobuzz.fr


Frustré de ne pas avoir eu l’autorisation de la part de Washington d’acheter le F22 Raptor, le Japon qui doit se contenter de F35 JSF, veut s’affirmer en créant son propre avion de combat furtif, l’ATD-X de Mitsubishi. L’Empire du Soleil semble déterminé à relever un défi de taille malgré 70 années de sommeil technologique.


Shinshin ! Derrière ce nom signifiant « l’esprit du cœur » se cache en fait un démonstrateur d’avion de combat furtif « made in Japan ». L’appareil dessiné par Mitsubishi au début des années 2000 avec l’aide de l’agence de recherche japonaise TRDI est destiné à investiguer les technologies à mettre en œuvre par le Japon pour se doter d’un avion de combat furtif et moderne sans l’aide des occidentaux. Le démonstrateur ATD-X Shinshin, qui doit effectuer son premier vol début 2015 au plus tard, a fait l’objet d’importantes recherches en matière de matériaux, d’aérodynamique, d’électronique et de réduction de signature radar. Une partie des travaux sur la furtivité s’est déroulée en France en 2005.


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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 16:35
ATD-X photo Japan MoD

ATD-X photo Japan MoD


13 août 2014  Info-Aviation


L’Institut de développement et de recherche technique (TRDI) du ministère japonais de la Défense et Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) ont démenti l’information selon laquelle le prototype de chasseur ATD-X ferait son premier vol en janvier 2015.

Le journal Mainichi Shimbun a rapporté le 12 août que MHI avait décidé d’entreprendre le premier vol du prototype d’avion de combat ATD-X pour remplacer les Mitsubishi F-2 de l’Armée de l’Air d’Auto-Défense du Japon, en janvier 2015. Le journal n’avait pas révélé sa source.


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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 16:35
photo Japan MoD

photo Japan MoD


Aug 12, 2014 ASDNews (AFP)


A group of major Japanese firms are planning a test flight next year for the nation's first homegrown stealth fighter jet, a report said Tuesday.

The consortium -- led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- is developing a jet that has similar technology to US-made F-35 stealth fighters, with a prototype set for a test run in January, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said.


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