The Mitsubishi F-2 is a multirole fighter derived from the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin for the Japan Air Self Defence Force, with a 60/40 split in manufacturing between Japan and the United States.
The basis of the F-2’s design is the F-16 Agile Falcon, an unsuccessful offer by General Dynamics to provide a low-cost alternative for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition.
Production started in 1996 and the first aircraft entered service in 2000.
The first 76 aircraft entered service by 2008, with a total of 98 airframes produced.
The first active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar on a combat aircraft was the J/APG-1 introduced on the Mitsubishi F-2 in 1995.
General Electric, Kawasaki, Honeywell, Raytheon, NEC, Hazeltine, and Kokusai Electric were among the primary component sub-contractors.
Lockheed Martin supplied the aft fuselage, leading-edge slats, stores management system, a large percentage of wing boxes, and other components.
Kawasaki built the midsection of the fuselage, as well as the doors to the main wheel and the engine, while the forward fuselage and wings were built by Mitsubishi.
Some of the avionics were supplied by Lockheed Martin, and the digital fly-by-wire system was jointly developed by Japan Aviation Electric and Honeywell (formerly Allied Signal).
Contractors for communication systems and IFF interrogators included: Raytheon, NEC, Hazeltine, and Kokusai Electric.
The fire control radar, IRS, the mission computer, and the EW system were developed by Japan.
In addition, the flight control computer, the flight control laws, and related computer software were essentially all developed and integrated by Japan.
Final assembly was done in Japan, by MHI at its Komaki-South facility in Nagoya.
Larger wings give an aircraft better payload and manoeuvrability in proportion to its thrust, but also tend to add weight to the airframe in various ways.
More weight can have negative effects on acceleration, climbing, payload, and range.
To make the larger wings lighter, the skin, spars, ribs and cap of the wings were made from graphite-epoxy composite and co-cured in an autoclave.
This was the first application of co-cured technology to a production tactical fighter.
This technology for the wings encountered some teething problems but proved to be a leading-edge use of a technology that provides weight savings, improved range, and some stealth benefits.
This technology was then transferred back to America, as part of the program’s industrial partnership.
The F-2 has three display screens, including a liquid crystal display from Yokogawa.
Mitsubishi used the existing F-16 design as a reference guide for design work, and more than 95% of F-16 engineering drawings are changed for F-2.
Some differences in the F-2 from the F-16A:
1-A 25% larger wing area
2-Composite materials used to reduce overall weight and radar signature
3-Longer and wider nose to accommodate a J/APG-1/J/APG-2 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
4-Almost simultaneously with a single squadron of USAF F-15C Eagles, the F-2 was the first operational military aircraft in the world to feature an AESA radar, before the F-22 Raptor’s AN/APG-77 AESA radar.
6-Larger air intake
7-Three-piece cockpit canopy
8-Equipment and OFP related to the avionics system differ from the F-16 in many aspects.
9-Original flight control system.
10-Capabilities for four ASM-1 or ASM-2 anti-ship missiles, four AAMs, and additional fuel tanks
11-The F-2 is equipped with a drogue parachute, like the version of the F-16 used by South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Venezuela.
Single-seat fighter version.
Two-seat training version.
15.52 m (50 ft 11 in)
11.125 m (36 ft 6 in) over missile launchers
10.8 m (35 ft) without missile launchers
34.84 m2 (375.0 sq ft)
9,527 kg (21,003 lb)
9,633 kg (21,237 lb)
13,459 kg (29,672 lb) clean
Max take-off weight
22,100 kg (48,722 lb)
Maximum landing weight
18,300 kg (40,300 lb)
4,637 l (1,225 US gal; 1,020 imp gal) maximum internal fuel
4,588 l (1,212 US gal; 1,009 imp gal) usable
F-2B 3,948 l (1,043 US gal; 868 imp gal) maximum internal fuel
3,903 l (1,031 US gal; 859 imp gal) usable
External Fuel capacity
5,678 l (1,500 US gal; 1,249 imp gal) maximum
(1x 1,135.5 l (300.0 US gal; 249.8 imp gal)
2x 2,271.25 l (600.00 US gal; 499.61 imp gal) drop-tanks)
1 × General Electric F110-IHI-129 afterburning turbofan,
76 kN (17,000 lbf) thrust dry,
131 kN (29,500 lbf) with afterburner
2,124 km/h (1,320 mph, 1,147 kn)
Mach 1.7 at high altitude,
Mach 1.1 at low altitude
833 km (518 mi, 450 nmi) +
18,000 m (59,000 ft)
634.3 kg/m2 (129.9 lb/sq ft) maximum
20 mm JM61A1 cannon, plus maximum weapon load of 8,085 kg: