Saturday, November 8, 2014

A New Zero for the Heisei Generation

Introducing Japan's first Generation 5 Stealth Fighter: The Mitsubishi ATX-D F3 Shinshin. It is not only Japan's first Stealth fighter but it's the third fighter built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries since the end of WWII. This is bound to rattle some nerves in the PRC but this is a new era where Japan must meet the challenges to which the PRC and the DPRK have given rise to. 
Born out of necessity to replace Japan's aging fleet of 4th Generation fighters, the "Shinshin" as it will be called was developed after the U.S. Congress nixed Japan's desire to purchase F-22 Raptors in fear of compromising any Stealth Technological advantages. The F-3 is powered by two IHI X51 Turbofans and will have afterburners with thrust vectoring (a key component on the F-22). This will be a true Air Superiority single seat fighter with one two seat variant for training. They are expected to go into production in 2017 and into service by 2027. 
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries who once brought you the legendary A6M Zero had given this new multibillion yen Zero for the Heisei Generation the name ATD-X which is an acronym meaning "Advanced Technology Demonstrator – X". The aircraft is widely known in Japan as Shinshin (心神?, meaning "Spirit of the Heart"). We at American Mishima look forward to learning more about her over the coming years.
がんばれ 日本!

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