Updated on September 17, 2022
The Best Eight Information About the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin
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Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force will have its roots in this aircraft, the country’s first stealth fighter jet. The Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin is a Japanese fifth-generation fighter jet, and we’ll fill you in on all the stuff you need to know about it here.
1. AIRCRAFT ORIGIN
Japan would join the weapons race along with its neighbours as China’s growing might prompted them to do so. The maiden voyage of the X-2 Shinshin occurred on April 22, 2016. After being turned down by the United States Air Force for a fleet of F-22 Raptors—intended to replace Japan’s outdated fleet of F-4, F-15, and F-16 fighters—Japan began testing and developing this flight in the early 21st century.
With the primary purpose of creating a prototype for the Mitsubishi F-3, thought to be a sixth-generation combat aircraft of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, production of this aircraft by Mitsubishi began in 2009 under the supervision of Japan’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA).
2. AIRCRAFT TESTS
Since the main purpose of this fighter jet is to showcase Stealth Experimental Technology, Mitsubishi has only one in service. Constant iteration and refinement of this prototype followed. The X-2 programme ultimately shut down in 2018 after only 34 of 50 scheduled test flights were completed. The information gleaned from the X-2’s development and testing will be used as a foundation for Japan’s next generation of fighter planes.
3. AIRCRAFT SPECIFICATIONS
The Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin measures in at 46 feet in length, 29 feet in wingspan, and 14 feet in height. A Japanese defence official was quoted as saying that the Shinshin “looks little bigger than a gigantic bug viewed from 10 kilometres away” in an article by Sebastien Roblin for The National Interest.
The X-2 weighs in about 9,700 kg when empty and is a single-seat prototype. A pair of IHI XF5-1 low bypass turbofans with afterburners power the aircraft, as reported on wikimili.com. Because of these motors, the Shinshin can reach a top speed of Mach 2.25. Moreover, its battle range is 761 kilometres, while its regular range is 2,900 kilometres.
4. AIRCRAFT FEATURES
At 46 feet in length, 29 feet in wingspan, and 14 feet in height, the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin is a relatively small aircraft. Shinshin “looks nothing bigger than a giant bug observed from 10 kilometres afar,” a Japanese defence official is cited as saying in an article by Sebastien Roblin for The National Interest.
The X-2 is a single-seat prototype that, when empty, weighs around 9,700 kg. According to wikimili.com, the aircraft is powered by a pair of IHI XF5-1 low bypass turbofans equipped with afterburners. As a result of these engines, the Shinshin can travel at a maximum speed of Mach 2.25. As an added bonus, its normal range is 2,900 kilometres, while its battle range is only 761 kilometres.
5. AIRCRAFT ACQUISITION
Clement Charpentreau authored an essay for AeroTime Hub about the possible cancellation of the X-2 Shinshin fighter programme. He mentioned that the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) is thinking about spending $8.8 billion to buy 100 more F-35s from the United States. Buying an additional 100 F-35 fighter jets seems like a better option for Japan than constructing its own stealth fighter, which is predicted to cost 40 billion USD on top of the cost of the X-2 project, which is believed to be roughly 322 million USD.
6. NEW STEALTH FIGHTER
Reference image from: colettiscombataircraft.com
The Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) approached Boeing and Lockheed Martin in April of 2018 to discuss the feasibility of creating a new stealth fighter together. An aircraft that combines characteristics of the Raptor and F-35 Lightning II is in the works. According to the reports, this is where JSDF is most likely headed.
7. MITSUBISHI F-3
The Japanese Self-Defense Force will proceed with the development plan for the sixth-generation Mitsubishi F-3 fighter jet, as stated in Japan’s 2019 Midterm Defense Review. The National Interests blog reports that the F-3’s performance specifications will be unveiled in the 2020 budget, with development beginning in 2021 and a first flight scheduled for 2030. If this effort is successful, Japan may be able to reduce its reliance on defence contractors in the United States.
8. AIRCRAFT COMPARISON
Fifth-generation fighter planes all include cutting-edge radar and stealth systems. The Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin stands out from other fifth-generation fighters due to its relatively small size. A typical fifth-generation fighter jet, such as the F-22 Raptor or Russia’s Su-57, is roughly 19 metres in length and 14 metres in width, while the X-2 is only around 14 metres in length and 10 metres in width.
In sum, Japanese innovation and excellence are showcased in the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin. Therefore, it provides a peek into the design and capabilities of future fighter jets.