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Mitsubishi X-2 ATD-X Shinshin Demonstrator

Sentinel Chicken

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A fellow aviation collector I know in Japan posted this image to our forum and he tells me that it was some sort of full-size RCS test model for a proposed Japanese fighter design. I've never seen anything like this in the press before but it appears to be some sort of F-22-based model with what looks like a tandem cockpit.

Does this represent an ongoing development program or is this just an RCS study?
 

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Deino

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Hmmm ... I agree with You it was a very big surprise when this picture was released for the first time, but since it can be found on the TRDI-site it seems quite real. ;D

http://www.jda-trdi.go.jp/topics.html

What was discussed at the Keymags-forum here and "tarou-o" told us, that this is a pure RCS-model (similar to the British Replica) which will maybe lead to a flyable demonstrator called ATD-X:


tarou-o said:
This text says it is RCS test frame, not ATD-X.
It also says reduction model will fly by remote control this year.

ATD-X's first test flight will be in 2011.
ATD-X is expected to include 3DTVC, co-cured composites, radar-absorbent materials, digital fly-by-light and Integrated Flight Propulsion Control.
Avionics to include conformal radar, IR seeker and Rader Datalink ESM.

http://www.sjac.or.jp/kaihou/200507/boueisoubi_3.pdf

Here's another diagram in Japanese.

Cheers, Deino ;)
 

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Sentinel Chicken

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Got any pictures of the ATD-X, Andreas?

I'm also curious as to the planned powerplant- 3DTVC and the layout shown in that diagram suggest to me a signle engine......
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Looking at that RCS model again more closely, it seems that there's two engines and maybe external paddles for thrust vectoring like the X-31?
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Here's a profile I whipped up to give ATD-X some "life":



I'm going with a more F-22 style thrust vectoring exhaust and twin engines than my original supposition of X-31 style paddles (which wouldn't be very stealthy anyway).
 

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Trident

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More of the ADT-X, posted by Don Chan on the Keypublishing forums:

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/attachment.php?attachmentid=132932
 

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Archibald

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So if I understand well, the japanese program is as follow
- test of the future engine on the ground in 1998
- test flight of the engine in 2007
- a stealth demonstrator the ATD-X in 2011
And after that? a stealth, F-3 japanese fighter to replace the F-2 and F-15J in 2020?
 

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The keyword is "program". I think that we can also say "wish" instead of "program". The main problem is that Japan doesnt export its weapons. It means, that they will never develop totaly new fighter because of the costs reasons. If the ATD-X be build, also its name suggests that it will be only flying testbed for a new technologies. Technologies that will be implemented in some modified foreign plane like in F-2. And the quantity and quality of modifications once again depends on available funds.
 

TinWing

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Matej said:
The keyword is "program". I think that we can also say "wish" instead of "program". The main problem is that Japan doesnt export its weapons. It means, that they will never develop totaly new fighter because of the costs reasons. If the ATD-X be build, also its name suggests that it will be only flying testbed for a new technologies. Technologies that will be implemented in some modified foreign plane like in F-2. And the quantity and quality of modifications once again depends on available funds.

It only seems to be a matter of time before the military export ban is lifted.

It also seems increasingly likely that Japan will "re-arm" in the next decade or two.

To an outside observer, it would seem difficult to make a business case for a Japanese domestic program for a combat aircraft, but the same could have been said about the C-X.
 

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Updated: With pic instead of link

I don't have the August 2006 issue of Koku Fan, which this is from, but saw this and was wondering what the plane is? Chinese, Russian, Indian? It reminds me of some of the concept drawings of the T-50 and/or Chinese Stealth drawings.

 

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Sentinel Chicken

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Thanks for fixing the link. I think this thread will have the answers you're looking for: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=430.0
 

Sundog

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It sure does, thanks. I can't believe I missed that thread. Well, since the U.S. isn't going to be selling F-22's to Japan, it looks like this plane may get developed.
 

Deino

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Sentinel Chicken said:
Here's a profile I whipped up to give ATD-X some "life":
...
I'm going with a more F-22 style thrust vectoring exhaust and twin engines than my original supposition of X-31 style paddles (which wouldn't be very stealthy anyway).


Here's a better picture of that ATD-X stealthy dempnstrator !!!

Source: http://www.asagumo-news.com/news/200611/061116/06111602.html


Cheers, Deino :)
 

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Trident

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Nice one! What little could be seen of the nozzles in the previous pictures had me wondering about their configuration - this photo reveals some interesting details :)
 

Kim Margosein

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Don't be surprised if one of these Japanese or ROKese 5th generation fighters moves ahead. I read the latest Air International about current fighters and in brief, the F-22 beats even the latest Flanker variants all hollow. However, the latest Flanker variants beat everything else. Keep in mind that India is buying the latest Flankers, second-tier countries like Indonesia and Malaysia are buying Flankers, China is buying Flankers and building their own 4.5 generation fighters. Oh, by the way India plans a real carrier battle group, and Pakistan gets whatever China makes.
Not pleasant for mercantile nations like ROK and Japan. Less pleasant that the US has no intention of exporting the F-22.
So, you need to put some serious thought to developing your own air defense and perhaps long-range strike aircraft.
 

Deino

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... something more on the stealthy demonstrator !

I'm not sure but these puctures were said to be taken from a Dassault test facility...
 

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Hood

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Flicking through Air International I noticed an article, the Japanese have unveiled plans for a fifth-generation 'stealth fighter' which they hope to have flying within five years. It mentions the refusal of the USA to allow F-22 sales to Japan have forced Japan to embark on a RCS programme (which I think the photo published probably represents more than any finished design). Given the seemingly swift and smooth C-X and P-X programmes is this a doable project given the set backs of the F-2?

Another stumbling block will be the right engines and radar, weapons systems and other electronics. Most of these items to be comparable with the F-22 and Su-35 will have to be USA sourced items surely, unless Japan has the neccessary R&D to make a comparable system.

I'd be interested in your opinons on the likelyhood of this programme becoming real hardware and any problems it may have.
 

starviking

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Hood said:
Flicking through Air International I noticed an article, the Japanese have unveiled plans for a fifth-generation 'stealth fighter' which they hope to have flying within five years. It mentions the refusal of the USA to allow F-22 sales to Japan have forced Japan to embark on a RCS programme (which I think the photo published probably represents more than any finished design). Given the seemingly swift and smooth C-X and P-X programmes is this a doable project given the set backs of the F-2?

Another stumbling block will be the right engines and radar, weapons systems and other electronics. Most of these items to be comparable with the F-22 and Su-35 will have to be USA sourced items surely, unless Japan has the neccessary R&D to make a comparable system.

I'd be interested in your opinons on the likelyhood of this programme becoming real hardware and any problems it may have.

I wouldn't be surprised if it is developed as a demonstrator, with foreign engines and maybe a developed F-2 radar. I reckon there wouldn't be too much in the way of flight-control problems, there's enough experience with the F-2 to apply to a stealth demonstrator.

I doubt that there'd be a production model at the end of it. It would be developed just enough to show the US that Japan could develop a fighter in the F-22 class, then Japan would say "...or you could let us buy yours?"

Starviking
 

Just call me Ray

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starviking said:
I doubt that there'd be a production model at the end of it. It would be developed just enough to show the US that Japan could develop a fighter in the F-22 class, then Japan would say "...or you could let us buy yours?"

I think the Japanese pursuing their own stealth program might in fact be the best "win-win" situation - the Japanese will have a stealth aircraft, optimized for their own needs, while the Americans can still preserve the secrecy of the F-22 (and I highly doubt it's the F-22's stealth alone that makes its export a nervous contention).

On the other hand, a stealth aircraft at all in the hands of the Japanese can in turn be unsettling given their constitutional restrictions and regional stability (the South Koreans still look at Japan wearily not only over WWII, yes 60 years later even, but over the Dokdo Islands), but if the Japanese are determined to get a stealth aircraft then they will, if by their own means even.

In the meantime, I see nothing wrong with Japanese F-35s.
 

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I'm not sure if already posted, but here's an interesting video in Japanese (!) about the ATD-X

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g94C5CNIPOQ

Deino
 

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Dear EEP1A - at least we have you as native speaker! Domo arigato! BTW, klicking there and there at the DoD site, I've found this picture, can't you explain what caption says please?

http://www.mod.go.jp/trdi/topics/topi1407.html

Thanks in advance!
 

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EEP1A

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flateric said:
I've found this picture, can't you explain what caption says please?
http://www.mod.go.jp/trdi/topics/topi1407.html

No problem. This is the full translation of the caption.

" A research on the self-adjusting flight control system (July 2002)
TRDI (Technical Research and Development Institute of Japanese Defence Agency) is doing research on the self-adjusting flight control system which make possible a safe flight after the control surfaces (flap, rudder etc.) are destroyed, by adjusting the control program. This photo depicts a model using this system inside a wind tunnel. When a control surface of that model is suddenly unabled by external signal, the model becomes uncontrollable for a moment but adjusting the flight program immediately, the model restores the flight attitude using other control surfaces."

Just a hypothetical fighter model to test new flight control system.
 

flateric

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Domo arigato gozaimasu! So it's self-controlled, self-adjusted FBW system as I understand.
 

Deino

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A new picture of that RC-model !

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20071002-00000003-jijp-soci.view-000

Deino
 

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jackehammond

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Folks,

The Japanese seem to have a policy of "Money is no object" as long as it is R&D in Japan and built in Japan. For example the Kawasaki is the most expensive (in those days dollars) transport every built, beating out even the C-5A!!!!

Jack E. Hammond
 

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Anyone any suggestions as to why the ATD-X (Japanese stealth demonstrator) has a cockpit with such apparently crap visibility? It looks like a 2 seater with the rear cockpit blocked in.

Cheers, Woody
 

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"Given the seemingly swift and smooth C-X and P-X programmes is this a doable project given the set backs of the F-2?"

I don't think you can compare the technologies. I don't know about their construction, but these two aircraft look like some jet derivative of the Lockheed Electra.

Kim M
 

starviking

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Woody said:
Anyone any suggestions as to why the ATD-X (Japanese stealth demonstrator) has a cockpit with such apparently crap visibility? It looks like a 2 seater with the rear cockpit blocked in.

Cheers, Woody

Hi Woody,

two ideas spring to mind. The first is that the 'blocked in' area to the rear of the cockpit will actually contain flight test equipment if the ATD-X ever flies, so they're including it in the test model. I think I've seen an aircraft with a test set-up like this, but I can't recall which one.

The other idea is that maybe the 'blocked in' area actually serves as some kind of radar reflector - perhaps for calibration purposes. That's only a wild guess - I haven't much knowledge in the field of radars.

Starviking
 

Sundog

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It will probably have the same technology the F-35 has, in that the F-35 doesn't have great visibility to the rear either, but it has 360 degree views because of all the sensors placed around the aircraft. The pilot can see all around the aircraft, even where the aircraft structure would normally block vision. My guess is the Japanese are aware of this and have opted to optimize the aerodynamics instead using the same technology.
 

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http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a22abe2fc-0087-4e1e-a82d-04d19b25d322

More stuff on the ATD-X, including a first look at its XF5-1 engine. Apparently the demonstrator will be Gripen-sized and possibly not a direct prototype of a service version. So the paddles for TVC and the weird cockpit might yet disappear if it is ever developed into a production airframe. Regarding said cockpit, I'm with starviking's first explanation here (and it is a demonstrator, afterall) - I struggle to see how such a pronounced hump would improve aerodynamics when bubble canopies are apparently detrimental. Or perhaps the JASDF has indicated preferrence for a twin-seat design? The similarity to a tandem twin-seat Flanker with its elevated rear cockpit is undeniably striking.

Another interesting issue is how large a series production variant would be. It seems pointless to invest large sums of money into an engine sized for a Gripen-class demonstrator if the final design is supposed to be substantially larger, requiring either foreign engines or a new indigenous design.
 

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Trident said:
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a22abe2fc-0087-4e1e-a82d-04d19b25d322

More stuff on the ATD-X, including a first look at its XF5-1 engine. Apparently the demonstrator will be Gripen-sized and possibly not a direct prototype of a service version. So the paddles for TVC and the weird cockpit might yet disappear if it is ever developed into a production airframe. Regarding said cockpit, I'm with starviking's first explanation here (and it is a demonstrator, afterall) - I struggle to see how such a pronounced hump would improve aerodynamics when bubble canopies are apparently detrimental. Or perhaps the JASDF has indicated preferrence for a twin-seat design? The similarity to a tandem twin-seat Flanker with its elevated rear cockpit is undeniably striking.

Another interesting issue is how large a series production variant would be. It seems pointless to invest large sums of money into an engine sized for a Gripen-class demonstrator if the final design is supposed to be substantially larger, requiring either foreign engines or a new indigenous design.

1. The cutaway model of the XF5-1 appears to depict a far higher bypass ratio than one might expect? Am I incorrect?

2. Does the model depict an afterburner, because the info card doesn't seem to? Can anyone who reads Japanese glean any relevant specs from the below attachment?

3. I don't know whether modern jet engines are as readily "scaleable" as one might hope, but assuming that this project is indeed nothing but a scaled down demonstrator, is it in any way feasible to scale up the entire design for a far larger production standard aircraft, engines included?
 

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Trident

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Yes, the model does show an afterburner. Overall, the design reminds me a lot of the M88: 3-stage fan with IGVs, 6-stage HP compressor, single-stage HP and LP turbines and what little can be seen of the afterburner flameholder looks a bit like SNECMA's radial solution as well. Last but not least, both have a convergent nozzle.
 

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TinWing said:
Trident said:
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a22abe2fc-0087-4e1e-a82d-04d19b25d322

More stuff on the ATD-X, including a first look at its XF5-1 engine. Apparently the demonstrator will be Gripen-sized and possibly not a direct prototype of a service version. So the paddles for TVC and the weird cockpit might yet disappear if it is ever developed into a production airframe. Regarding said cockpit, I'm with starviking's first explanation here (and it is a demonstrator, afterall) - I struggle to see how such a pronounced hump would improve aerodynamics when bubble canopies are apparently detrimental. Or perhaps the JASDF has indicated preferrence for a twin-seat design? The similarity to a tandem twin-seat Flanker with its elevated rear cockpit is undeniably striking.

Another interesting issue is how large a series production variant would be. It seems pointless to invest large sums of money into an engine sized for a Gripen-class demonstrator if the final design is supposed to be substantially larger, requiring either foreign engines or a new indigenous design.

1. The cutaway model of the XF5-1 appears to depict a far higher bypass ratio than one might expect? Am I incorrect?

2. Does the model depict an afterburner, because the info card doesn't seem to? Can anyone who reads Japanese glean any relevant specs from the below attachment?

3. I don't know whether modern jet engines are as readily "scaleable" as one might hope, but assuming that this project is indeed nothing but a scaled down demonstrator, is it in any way feasible to scale up the entire design for a far larger production standard aircraft, engines included?

The Japanese text says it has an afterburner and its maximum thrust with afterburner on is about 5 tons.

Cheers,
Sunho
 

Trident

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More on the ATD-X:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3abe4908c7-8ddc-48f9-a951-a24c28b9629b

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a58a11354-f021-41e7-90df-68b85911bc45

I agree with the view that the cut-away seems to lend more credence to the twin-seat speculation. While there is no way of telling from these images whether the space behind the pilot will be covered with a transparent canopy on the finished article, the absence of frames and other load bearing structure is pretty telling IMHO. Looks a lot like care was taken to allow for a second seat later on.
 

Just call me Ray

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It seems like this thing will fall somewhere in between an F-22 and F-35 in overall capability. In essence, it pretty much seems like a twin-engine F-35, to me anyways. Like the article says, a stealth trainer doesn't make a lot of sense so I don't think there's going to be a single-seat version, rather it's intended for a WSO (which would seem to suggest to me that it's that F-4EJ replacement they've been waiting for). It would also make a lot of sense for a defensive air interceptor, or a ground attack aircraft (which will probably both be the primary roles of this thing)
 

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Just call me Ray said:
It seems like this thing will fall somewhere in between an F-22 and F-35 in overall capability.

If this type isn't a part scale demonstrator, but a full-scale demonstrator, it would represent a potential sub-F-35 type, smaller than the Rafale or even the first generation F/A-18.


Just call me Ray said:
In essence, it pretty much seems like a twin-engine F-35, to me anyways. Like the article says, a stealth trainer doesn't make a lot of sense so I don't think there's going to be a single-seat version, rather it's intended for a WSO (which would seem to suggest to me that it's that F-4EJ replacement they've been waiting for). It would also make a lot of sense for a defensive air interceptor, or a ground attack aircraft (which will probably both be the primary roles of this thing)

A F-4EJ replacement is an interesting assessment. The limited flight performance, limited "stealth" of the chosen wing planform and overall size might be suitable for this sort of role, more of a defensive fighter-bomber than a long range strike fighter.

This assumes that this isn't a part scale demonstrator?
 

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Seems as a set-back !! :(

Japan cuts back funds for ATD-X steath demonstrator
By Seiji Hirokawa

Japan's plans to build a stealth fighter demonstrator have been set back after funding for the project was cut in the fiscal year 2008 defence budget. The Mitsubishi ATD-X project has been allocated ¥7 billion ($66 million) of the ¥49.9 billion requested by the Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI).

The plan to build and fly a small stealth demonstrator was approved in 2007 after the USA made it clear it would not release the Lockheed Martin F-22 for export to Japan to meet its F-X fighter requirement. FY2008 funding will allow design and technology work to continue, but construction of the demonstrator has been postponed.

Similar in size to the Saab Gripen, the ATD-X will be powered by a pair of IHI XF5 afterburning, thrust-vectoring engines derived from the XF7 turbofan powering Japan's Kawasaki XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft, now in flight testing.

Japan's FY2008 defence budget cuts funding for aviation-related projects by 2% to ¥215 billion, and includes the purchase of just 26 aircraft - 17 for the navy, six for the army and only three for the air force.

The navy gets the first four P-1 patrol aircraft and three Kawaski/AgustaWestland MCH-101 mine-countermeasures helicopters, but a single ShinMaywa US-2 search-and-rescue amphibian and two Mitsubishi/Sikorsky SH-60K helicopters have been cut.

The army gets two Kawaski OH-1 scout helicopters, but funding for a single Fuji/Boeing AH-64D attack helicopter was cut. Funds are provided for the first TH-X training helicopter, but a choice between the AgustaWestland AW109 and Eurocopter EC135 - expected at the end of 2008 - has not been made.

Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/02/01/221236/japan-cuts-back-funds-for-atd-x-steath-demonstrator.html
 
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methinks this stealth demonstrator has probably "demonstrated enough" to those concerned and was always a proof of concept give me your raptor/ 6th gen/ et etc exercise. Of course whether the raptor is coming is another question altogether.
 

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