First Flight NewsMitsubishi Heavy Industries X-2
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) successfully completed the maiden flight of the "X-2", an advanced technology demonstrator jet on 22 April 2016.
The aircraft took off from Nagoya Airport and went through a series of trials to confirm basic maneuvers including climbing, descent and circling operations. It then landed at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Gifu Air Base. After completing the maiden flight, the pilot, from MHI, described the flight experience as "extremely stable."
"Control of the aircraft went exactly as in our simulated training sessions," he said, "and after piloting the aircraft I’m 100% positive the X-2 is magnificent and will meet the Ministry of Defense’s requirements."
The X-2 is a prototype stealth aircraft - the first in Japan to feature technology impeding its detection by radar - engineered for extremely high maneuverability. The prototype integrates an airframe, engines, and other advanced systems and equipment all adaptable to future fighters.
As the coordinating company of the X-2 development project, MHI has been developing the aircraft’s airframe since 2009 with cooperation provided by 220 domestic companies and guidance from Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA). In this way, world-class cutting-edge technologies developed in Japan are featured throughout the prototype unit.
Going forward MHI will continue to develop, manufacture and support the operation of defense aircraft incorporating the world’s leading technologies, thereby contributing to Japan’s national security.
By flying the Mitsubishi X-2, Japan has become the fourth country to fly a manned stealth fighter (Turkey and South Korea have similar projects) even as the value of stealth in combat is increasingly contested.