The Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin (ATD-X) is a Japanese experimental aircraft for testing advanced stealth fighter aircraft technologies.
It is being developed by the Japanese Ministry of Defence Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) for research purposes.
The main contractor of the project is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Many consider this aircraft to be Japan’s first domestically made stealth fighter.
ATD-X is an acronym for “Advanced Technology Demonstrator – X”.
The X-2 will be used as a technology demonstrator and research prototype to determine whether domestic advanced technologies for a fifth-generation fighter aircraft are viable.
The aircraft features 3-D thrust vectoring capability.
Thrust is controlled in the ATD-X by three paddles on each engine nozzle similar to the system used on the Rockwell X-31, while an axis-symmetric thrust vectoring engine is also being developed for the full-scale production model.
Among the planned features of the X-2 is a fly-by-optics flight control system, which by replacing traditional wires with optical fibres, allows data to be transferred faster and with immunity to electromagnetic disturbance.
Its radar will be an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar called the ‘Multifunction RF Sensor’, which is intended to have broad spectrum agility, capabilities for electronic countermeasures (ECM), electronic support measures (ESM), communications functions, and possibly even microwave weapon functions.
A further feature will be a so-called ‘Self Repairing Flight Control Capability’, which will allow the aircraft to automatically detect failures or damage in its flight control surfaces, and using the remaining control surfaces, calibrate accordingly to retain controlled flight.
The X-2 was equipped with two IHI Corporation XF5 engines for the test flights.
To minimize its radar cross-section (RCS), the X-2’s body is designed to have even surfaces and eliminate seam joints.
The radiation-absorbent material (RAM) used on the body is reportedly a composite material consisting of ceramic and silicon carbide and is developed by Ube Industries, while the cockpit windshield is coated with a special tin alloy.
The aircraft incorporates a serpentine shaped air intake duct to further suppress radar reflection.