Mitsubishi F-2 Airplane Videos and Airplane Pictures

Mitsubishi F-2 Video - Overview - With F-16


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Mitsubishi F-2 Aircraft Information

Mitsubishi F-2

F-2

Warbird Picture - A Mitsubishi F-2A

Picture - A Mitsubishi F-2A

Role: Multirole fighter
National origin: Japan, United States
Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Lockheed Martin
First flight: 7 October 1995
Introduced: 2000
Primary user: Japan Air Self-Defense Force
Number built: 94+4 prototype
Unit cost: 12 billion yen; $127 million (constant 2009 USD)
Developed from: F-16 Block 40

The Mitsubishi F-2 is a multirole fighter manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Lockheed Martin for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, with a 60/40 split in manufacturing between Japan and the USA. Production started in 1996 and the first aircraft entered service in 2000. By 2008, the first 76 aircraft are expected to be in service, with a total of 94 airframes under contract.

In FY2005, Ministry of Defense changed the category from Support Fighter to Fighter.

Development

Work started in the FS-X program, and began in earnest with a memorandum of understanding between Japan and the United States. It would lead to a new fighter based on the General Dynamics (post 1993, Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon, and in particular the F-16 Agile Falcon proposal. Lockheed Martin was chosen as the major subcontractor to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and the two companies co-developed and co-produced the aircraft. Some of the early developmental works were actually done under General Dynamics, who sold its aircraft division to Lockheed Martin in 1993. It is essentially an execution of the F-16 Agile Falcon proposal: a late-1980s plan for an enlarged F-16 which was passed over by the U.S. in favor of an all-new fighter program (Joint Strike Fighter). The F-2 used the wing design of the F-16 Agile Falcon, but much of the electronics were further updated to 1990s standards. The overall concept of the enlarged F-16 by General Dynamics was intended as a cheap counter to the then emerging threat of Su-27/MiG-29.

In October 1987, Japan selected the F-16 as the basis of its new secondary fighter, to replace the aging Mitsubishi F-1 and supplement its main air superiority fighter, the F-15J as well as the F-4EJ. The programme involved technology transfer from the USA to Japan, and responsibility for cost sharing was split 60% by Japan and 40% by USA. Also during the 1980s, General Dynamics (who developed the F-16) had proposed its F-16 Agile Falcon to the USAF. While the US would pass over the design concept in favor of all-new types (F-22/JSF) and upgrades to its existing fleet, the enlarged F-16 would find a home in Japan.

Airplane Picture - Mitsubishi AAM-4 air-to-air missile

Picture - Mitsubishi AAM-4 air-to-air missile

The F-2 program was controversial, because the unit cost, which includes development costs, is roughly four times that of a Block 50/52 F-16, which does not include development costs. Inclusion of development costs distorts the incremental unit cost (this happens with most modern military aircraft), though even at the planned procurement levels, the price per aircraft was somewhat high. The initial plan of 141 F-2s would have reduced the unit cost by up to US$10 million per unit, not including reduced cost from mass production. As of 2008, 94 aircraft were planned. Also controversial is the amounts claimed to be paid to American side as various licensing fees, although making use of the pre-existing technology was much cheaper than trying to develop it from scratch.

The Japanese may eventually make up to 94, at a cost of roughly US$ 110 million each in 2004 dollars. Much of the F-16 technology used in the F-2 was the subject of some political debate in the U.S. and Japan in the early 1990s. The technology transfers were authorized however, and the project proceeded.

The F-2's maiden flight was on 7 October 1995. Later that year, the Japanese government approved an order for 141 (but that was soon cut to 130), to enter service by 1999; structural problems resulted in service entry being delayed until 2000. Because of issues with cost-efficiency, orders for the aircraft were curtailed to 98 in 2004.

On 31 October 2007, an F-2B crashed during takeoff and subsequently caught fire at Nagoya Airfield in central Japan. The jet was being taken up on a test flight by Mitsubishi employees, after major maintenance and before being delivered to the JSDF. Both test pilots survived the incident with only minor injuries. It was eventually determined that improper wiring caused the crash.

Design

General Electric (engine), Kawasaki, Honeywell, Raytheon, NEC, Hazeltine, and Kokusai Electric are among the other larger participants to varying degrees. Lockheed Martin supplies the aft fuselage, leading edge slats, stores management system, a large portion of wing boxes, and other components. Kawasaki builds the midsection of the fuselage, as well as the doors to the main wheel and the engine, while forward fuselage and wings are built by Mitsubishi. Avionics are supplied by Lockheed Martin, and the digital fly-by-wire system has been jointly developed by Japan Aviation Electric and Honeywell (formerly Allied Signal). Contractors for communication systems and IFF interrogators include Raytheon, NEC, Hazeltine, and Kokusai Electric. Final assembly is done in Japan, by MHI at its Komaki-South facility in Nagoya.

The F-2 has three display screens, including a liquid crystal display from Yokogawa.

Some differences in the F-2 from the F-16A:

a 25% larger wing area
composite materials used to reduce overall weight and radar signature
longer and wider nose to accommodate a phased-array radar
larger tailplane
larger air intake
three-piece cockpit canopy
capabilities for four ASM-1 or ASM-2 anti-ship missiles, four AAMs, and additional fuel tanks

Also, the F-2 is equipped with a drogue parachute, like the version of the F-16 used by Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Venezuela.

Variants

XF-2A:Single-seat prototypes.
XF-2B:Two-seat prototypes.
F-2A:Single-seat fighter version.
F-2B:Two-seat training version.

Operators

Japan

Japan Air Self-Defense Force

Air Defense Command

Northern Air Defense Force
3rd Air Wing, Misawa Air Base
3rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
8th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Western Air Defense Force
8th Wing, Tsuiki Air Base
6th Tactical Fighter Squadron

Air Training Command

4th Air Wing, Matsushima Air Base
21st Fighter Training Squadron

Air Development and Test Command

Air Development and Test Wing, Gifu Air Base

Specifications (F-2A)

Airplane Picture - Mitsubishi F-2A

Picture - Mitsubishi F-2A

General characteristics

Crew: 1 (or 2 for the F-2B)
Length: 15.52 m (50 ft 11 in)
Wingspan: 11.13 m (36 ft 6 in)
Height: 4.69 m (15 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 34.84 m (375 ft)
Empty weight: 9,527 kg (21,000 lb)
Loaded weight: 15,000 kg (33,000 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 22,100 kg (48,700 lb)
Powerplant: 1x General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofan
Dry thrust: 76 kN (17,000 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner: 120-125 kN (29,500 lbf)

Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 2.0
Range: 834 km on anti-ship mission (520 miles)
Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,000 ft)
Wing loading: 430 kg/m at weight of 15,000 kg (88 lb/ft)
Thrust/weight: 0.89

Armament

20 mm JM61A1 cannon, plus maximum weapon load of 8,085 kg:
AAMs: AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow, Mitsubishi AAM-3, Mitsubishi AAM-4 (from FY2010)
air-to-ground weapons include: ASM-1 and ASM-2 anti-ship missiles, various free-fall bombs with GCS-1 IIR seeker heads, JDAM
others: J/AAQ-2 FLIR

Avionics

Mitsubishi Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system including J/APG-1

4.5th generation jet fighter

Related development

F-16 Falcon
AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo
T-50 Golden Eagle

Comparable aircraft

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet
Dassault Rafale
Eurofighter Typhoon
Mikoyan MiG-29
Chengdu J-10

Aoki, Yoshimoto. "Mitsubishi F-2: 21st Century JASDF fighter-support". World Air Power Journal, Volume 39, Winter 1999. London:Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-86184-039-X. ISSN 0959-7050. pp. 38-49.
http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/english/formation/index.html (accessed on February 9, 2007)
http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/equipment/index.html (accessed on February 9, 2007)

Mitsubishi F-2 Pictures

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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