Development of the stealth fighter comes as Japan faces new security challenges in the form of China’s expanding force posture.
Japan’s first stealth fighter jet successfully took to the skies on Friday as the country joins a select group of world military powers wielding the radar-dodging technology.
Technological super power Japan, despite strict constitutional constraints on the use of military force imposed after World War II, has one of the world’s most advanced defence forces and the development of the stealth fighter comes as it faces new security challenges in the form of China’s expanding force posture.
“The first flight has a very significant meaning that can secure technologies needed for future fighter development. We also expect it can be applied to other fields and technological innovation in the entire aviation industry.”
— Defense Minister Gen Nakatani
The domestically developed X-2 jet took off from Nagoya airport in central Japan on its maiden test flight as dozens of aviation enthusiasts watching the event erupted in applause as it lifted off into the clear morning sky.
Television footage showed the red-and-white aircraft roaring into the air, escorted by two Japanese military fighters that were collecting flight data.
The single-pilot prototype safely landed at Gifu air base, north of Nagoya airport, after a 25-minute flight with “no particular problems,” said an official at the defence ministry’s acquisition agency.
It was an “extremely stable” flight, the pilot was quoted as saying by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the main contractor.
“The control of the aircraft went exactly as in our simulated training sessions,” the pilot added. Read the rest of this entry »
Japan successfully completed the launch of a radar reconnaissance satellite on Sunday morning, the Kyodo news agency reports. The launch was performed from the Tanegashima Space Center in the Kagoshima Prefecture in the south of Japan at 10:21 local time (01:30 GMT). The satellite was taken into orbit by the H-2A (H-IIA) carrier rocket.
This is the fifth spy satellite that Japan has launched into the Earth’s orbit. It will allow to capture objects on the surface of the Earth at high resolution during nighttime and through clouds. The other four Japanese satellites that are orbiting the Earth include two optical imaging spacecraft and two radar imagers.
Japan plans to launch another reconnaissance satellite in March, as part of the Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) series. The IGS program was initiated after North Korea attempted to launch a satellite in August 1998. The rocket carrying the satellite overflew Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean.
Source: Sputnik News