From Foxtrot Alpha: Unable to purchase the dominating F-22 Raptor fighter jet, Japan has struck out on its own to develop an indigenous stealth jet. And here are the first pictures.
Japan's Mitsubishi built ATD-X experimental stealth fighter has emerged! This technology demonstrator, known within the Japanese Ministry Of Defense as the "Spirit of The Heart," is set to fly sometime later this year.
Japan hopes the Advanced Technology Demonstrator eXperimental (ATD-X) will lead to a larger high-performance production aircraft with low-observable (stealthy) qualities, designed and built indigenously sometime in the next decade. New technologies that the ATD-X will test include a second generation AESA radar, advanced "fly-by-fiber-optic" flight control system that can compensate for battle damage and control surface failures, an advanced ESM and ECM suite, thrust vectoring and locally developed high-thrust turbofan engines to name a few.
UPDATE: Check out this news segment from Japanese TV-
pictures via twitter, Japanese media.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer that maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com