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FS-X (Fighter Support-Experimental) Program

Sentinel Chicken

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The original FS-X design seems to owe a lot to the Hornet 2000 proposal, doesn't it? Particularly that fourth image- aside from the wedge intakes and shorter nose, I might have thought that was the Hornet 2000 proposal......
 

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Matej

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Original FS-X was an early Eurofighter like with two vertical tails, but it was too ambitious and too expensive. Than japanese government decided to modify existing aircraft (F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and Tornado were considered). For example SX-3 looks like F-16CCV and FX-4 like two engined F-16. Deino posted F/A-18 derivate.

My first picture shows Mitsubishi F-1X proposal and second is probably the source of a lot of japanese YF-23 what ifs - scaled down test model for self recovery flight control system from JDA TRDI.

This will be my new web update but as usual - I dont have enoug time to finish it :-\
 

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Deino

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Matej said:
Original FS-X was an early Eurofighter like with two vertical tails, but it was too ambitious and too expensive. Than japanese government decided to modify existing aircraft (F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and Tornado were considered). For example SX-3 looks like F-16CCV and FX-4 like two engined F-16. Deino posted F/A-18 derivate.
Very interesting !!! Do You have any pictures or drawings of thse FX-configurations ???

Thanks in advance, Deino
 

TinWing

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It seems that a 50kN (dry rating?) turbofan was proposed for the FI-X technology demonstrator?

Was development terminated, or does Japan have an ongoing combat engine development program?
 

Matej

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Deino: Some drawings you can find in original release of Stealth Warplanes from Doug Richardson. I have updated second version, where is only a photo of the real F-2 fighter.

Sentinel Chicken: nice

TinWing: This engine was called XF-7. Development started in the mid 1990s, first engine was delivered for a ground testing in june 1998 and probably will by flight tested in 2007.
 

Matej

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From Stealth Warplanes, Dough Richardson (ISBN 0-7603-1051-3) pg. 99:

"The experience gained with the F-2 has given the Japanese aerospace industry the confidence to embark on an ambitious project to develop an indigenous FI-X nextgeneration fighter to replace the F-15J. This was expected to be around 44ft (13.4m) long and 30ft (9.1m) in wingspan, with a fuselage made from composites and incorporating radarabsorbent materials. An ambitious avionics suite was
planned, including a conformal radar and an electro-optical sensor, plus digital fly-by-light and digital engine-control systems. Development of a suitable ll,240 lb (5,100kg) class turbofan was started in the mid-1990s, and the first XF-7 engine was delivered for ground testing in
June 1998. Construction of prototype aircraft was due to start around 2000, but the programme has been stretched in timescale. Flight tests of the XF-7 engine have been delayed until 2007, and no date has been given for prototype construction."

So I thought that this was what you were writing about. ???
 

overscan

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FI-X from Janes All The World's Aircraft, 1999-2000

NIHON KOKU JIEITAI - JASDF

FI-X

Programme for next-generation fighter, to succeed F-15J early in the 21st century. Launched with FY95 allocation of ¥1 billion (US$10.2 million) to IHI to develop new 50 kN (11,240 lb st) class turbofan as power plant, to be test flown in TD-X technology demonstrator. Preliminary TRDI (Japan Defence Agency's Technology Research and Development Institute) design proposal for FI-X showed twin-engined configuration with canards, low aspect ratio tapered wings, twin fins and rudders and thrust-vectoring exhaust nozzles. Construction of up to four prototypes originally expected to begin in FY99 and to include co-cured composites, radar-absorbent materials and digital fly-by-light and engine control systems. Wing span and length provisionally 9.15 m (30 ft) and 13.40 m (44 ft) respectively. Avionics to include conformal radar and IR seeker.
First XF-7 engine was delivered for static testing in June 1998, but FI-X programme has been stretched, and TD-X demonstrator not now expected to fly until 2007.
 

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Grey Havoc

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Let's start off with a couple of images originally from Deino's first post over in the old Japan Projects thread:


McDonnell-Douglas Maximum Modification Proposal, late 1987


McDonnell-Douglas Medium Modification Proposal, late 1987


Below is one of the primary domestic (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) design concepts under study as of late 1985. [Source: Troubled Partnership : A History of U.S.-Japan Collaboration on the FS-X fighter / Mark Lorell]
 

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Grey Havoc

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The SX-3 Upgrade, from around 1990.


This image of the SX-3/FS-X is from sometime prior to late 1991 (I suspect late 1989).


Both images Courtesy of Matej.
 

Sundog

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I'd first seen the first two images years ago. Until now, I never knew they were McDonnell Douglas Mods of the F-15. But I see it easily now. It reminds me of the ultimate design they were looking at for the "variant/design configuration IV" of the Hornet to the Super-Hornet.
 

starviking

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I recall the Panavia Tornado was offered too. I wonder if there were and modifications touted to Japan or whether it was just a plain Tornado.
 

Grey Havoc

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A bit on it from the Tornado Projects thread:
Grey Havoc said:
PANAVIA PROPOSES 'TORNADO-J' FOR FS-X
Military Technology Exchanges Proposed

Tokyo AEROSPACE JAPAN-WEEKLY in English 23 Feb 87 pp 1, 2

[Text]
Panavia Aircraft announced at a press conference on
February 12 in London that the company proposed a plan to
develop a new version of its Tornado fighter aircraft
jointly with Japan for the FS-X next support fighter of the
Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF).

The proposed new aircraft called a "J" version is
modeled on the Tornado ADV aircraft which is currently
manufactured for the British Royal Air Force (RAF). The
proposal is aimed at developing jointly with Japan a new
fighter which will satisfy all requirements of ASDF. For
this purpose, Panavia has also proposed that an agreement on
military technology exchanges should be concluded between
Japan and Europe.

The FS-X options are now narrowed down to purchase of
off-the-shelf foreign aircraft (including Panavia Tornado,
General Dynamics F-16 and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18) and
development of new aircraft (either domestic development or
joint development with foreign manufacturers).

The joint development proposals of the U.S. have
recently been in the spot light. In the circumstances',
Panavia's joint development proposal is aimed at countering
the U.S. manufacturers.

Under the FS-X operational scenario, ASDF plans to
deploy new support fighters at Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi
Prefecture for attack operation against enemy fleets
approaching Hokkaido or the coast of Japan Sea.

In time of emergency, however, the FSX fighters may be
deployed down south at Hyakuri Air Base because even
Matsushima Air Base is too close to the front fine.

The FS-X will have to fly up to the east coast of Hokkaido
to attack enemy ships and return to the base. In some cases,
the fighters will have to perform air-to-air combat during their missions.

According to ASDF's requirements, the FS-X has to be armed with four
air-to-ship missiles (or six 500-pound guided bombs), two air-to-air
missiles and a 20mm machinegun (with 500 rounds). The Panavia Tornado
and the McDonnell Douglas F-15E dual-role fighter are the only aircraft
now available to satisfy such requirements and an operational scenario.

This is why Panavia has proposed a joint development of
the Tornado-J Although no details of the Tornado-J
proposal have been disclosed yet, Panavia is now attracting
much attention of the Japanese aircraft industry as well as
Asia's engineering staff who have been concerned about a
joint development with the U.S. only.

Europe believes that the FS-X is a good chance for
Japan to appeal its efforts of correcting the current trade
imbalance between Japan and Europe. If necessary, West.
Germany, the U.K. and ltaly will ask Prime Minister Yasuhiro
Nakasone for Japan's introduction of the Tornado at tne
coming Venice Economic Summit meeting in June.
Note: The guided bombs mentioned are likely to have primarily been GCS-1[MK 82] infrared-guided bombs intended for use against landing craft and the like.


http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a348059.pdf (pdf pages 54-55)
 

Sundog

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Well, now seeing those images from Black Kite is interesting. Because you can see the canard variant is obviously based off of the F-18, yet the first images posted up thread clearly, to me, look like the nose from an F-15. I wonder if they ever had plans to remanufacture existing F-15s, or if the artist just liked that look?
 

blackkite

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So now, our missing links for FS-X are as follows?
1.F-15 mods?
2.Tornado-J
3.Kawasaki's F-18 like proposal.
 

Grey Havoc

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The US DOD tried to push the F-15E as a (minimal development) candidate for the FS-X during the period December 1986 - August 1987.
DOD also simultaneously pushed the F-15C as another possible candidate requiring minimal development during that period.

MHI independently studied a F-15J development for FS-X, with the initial study being carried during April-May 1987. It was apparently formally adopted as a FS-X candidate shortly there afterwards. (This design was also seemingly later reactivated in the early 1990's as one of the backup options for the increasingly troubled FS-X program).

McDonnell-Douglas submitted a more advanced (than the DOD plan) F-15E proposal with greater Japanese content in August 1987, but the shortlist was then narrowed down to the SX-3, the MHI F-15J derived design and another McDonnell Douglas F-15 proposal (again based on the F-15J).
 

blackkite

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Many thanks Grey! ;)
 

Grey Havoc

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Not a problem.


From over in the Propulsion forum, a brief article excerpt relating to one of the contenders for the FS-X's engine (prior to the final airframe shortlist):

PaulMM (Overscan) said:
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1986/1986%20-%200865.html

Since 1982, three RB.199 demonstrator
programmes, fully funded by the
participating governments, have been
under way in the UK and West Germany.
Each gives the engine around 20 per cent
more thrust, and reduces reheat fuel burn.
Demo 1A is a Rolls-Royce-only
programme which enables testing of
features such as brush seals, powder
metallurgy discs, and single crystal high pressure
turbine blades. The engine also
incorporates the extended jet pipe of the
Mk 104. This led to the XG-20, also a
UK Ministry of Defence Rolls-Royce
programme, under Turbo-Union management,
which aims to demonstrate
performance improvements through
changes to the low-pressure compressor
and high-pressure turbine. XG-20 is also
fitted with the extended jet pipe, and
features digital engine control. The engine
ran for the first time at Rolls-Royce in
November 1984. The third demonstrator
engine, called Demo 20, ran at MTU in
April 1985. This has the short Mk 103-type
jet pipe and a West German Fadec developed
by MTU and BGT.
The improvements resulting from these
programmes will be fed into the national
engines to give higher thrust or longer life.
They will also result in an "Enhanced
RB.199", which could be available in
January 1989. This might become part of
a Tornado mid-life update programme,
and would also be appropriate as the
interim engine for the European Fighter
Aircraft. The RB.199 is currently in
competition with the General Electric
F404 to power India's light combat
aircraft and Japan's FSX.
Two other known engine contenders were General Electric's F110-129 and Pratt & Whitney's F100-229, with the former being eventually selected as the FS-X engine in December 1990.
 

blackkite

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Please enjoy Mitsubishi FS-X proposal's computer model for aerodynamic analysis. It has double delta or arrow wing, different from display model.
Mitsubishi showed 4 models to the press at the day. We strongly hope to declassify those models. It's no problem now.
Source : The challenge of Japanese aerospace industries, 1988, Nikkan Shobo, By Shizuka Komahashi, ISBN4-526-02343-4 C3050
Also there is a opinion that "GD's FS-X proposal called SX4 twin engine fighter existed". Anyone knows this proposal?
 

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shedofdread

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Maybe it's just me, but I keep seeing BAe P110 styling in the concepts - is this possible? I know it doesn't sound likely, but...
 

flateric

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Gray Havoc and Blackkite, thanks a lot. Very interesting stuff you're digging out.
 

blackkite

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Not at all my dear flateric.
We SPF members are only interested in secret projects. ;)
 

blackkite

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Hi! Perhaps these are the final shape of Mitsubishi FS-X proposal and Kawasaki FS-X proposal.
Source ; Military Aircraft of JASDF F-2, Ikaros publication, Tokyo, 20/5/2009, ISBN978-4-86320-179-8 (very detailed book, weapon, radar...)
The second picture is from MHI's proposal document through several copy. ;D
Air intake shape is unique.
 

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Evil Flower

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The Kawasaki one looks a lot like an F-18 derivative. Why didn't they just opt to buy F-18 instead?
 

blackkite

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Nils_D said:
The Kawasaki one looks a lot like an F-18 derivative. Why didn't they just opt to buy F-18 instead?
I believe it's important to keep the newest technology and the engineers who can design the newest militaly aircraft for aircraft rapid updating and independence of country, instead of only import military aircraft. I think many countries think so.
For example, The U.S., Russia, Europe, China, Taiwan, Korea and India.
 

Grey Havoc

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Nils_D said:
The Kawasaki one looks a lot like an F-18 derivative. Why didn't they just opt to buy F-18 instead?
The Kawasaki design actually predated the involvement of McDonnell Douglas in the FS-X program. Which may indicate that the two companies had at least an informal partnership once the latter was parachuted into the competition.
 

Grey Havoc

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Glad to be of help.

In relation to my previous post, perhaps I should have said instead "that the two companies had at least an informal partnership before the latter was parachuted into the competition".
 

overscan

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I was referring to Blackkite's post ;D
 

blackkite

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Thanks Gray. You are beginner of this topic. I am studying and posting.
Thanks owner for your appreciation. ;)
 
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