Japan's X-2 stealth fighter prototype proceeds in ground test phase

Aviation defence equipment technology - Japan X-2 ground tests
Japan's X-2 stealth fighter prototype proceeds in ground test phase
According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, Tokyo conducted another ground test of the country's first domestic fighter jet. Japan held a ground test on Wednesday Feb. 24, 2016, of its first aircraft designed with stealth technology.
Japan X 2 stealth fighter prototype proceeds in ground test phase 640 001MHI X-2 Shinshin stealth demonstrator aircraft performing first taxi trials
"We have made sure that everything goes according to the plan. We have high hopes of developing a domestic fighter and of developing the whole aircraft industry in the future," Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, who oversaw the test, said.

During the first ground test, the aircraft traveled a distance of 500 meters (0.3 miles) on a runway at a speed of 62 miles per hour. It is expected to complete its maiden flight in March.

Its first flight was originally scheduled in mid-February before delivery to the defence ministry by the end of March next year, the country's acquisition agency said. The development phase of the X-2 is expected to be complete within the next 2-3 years before a decision on whether to go ahead and mass produce the aircraft.

Mitsubishi’s prototype X-2, also known as the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X), serial 51-0001, appears to be close to making its first flight after video emerged of taxi trials in early February. The X-2 has been undergoing ground tests since its roll-out. It features a prominent canopy with at least the option to include a second crewmember in the cockpit.

The X-2, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, measures 14.2 metres (47 feet) long and 9.1 metres wide and was built as a successor to the F-2 fighter jets developed jointly with the United States.