Japan unveils first homegrown stealth fighter prototype
Japan Times -- Jan 29
A prototype of the first Japan-made stealth fighter was unveiled to the media Thursday at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory in central Japan.

The Defense Ministry's Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency displayed the prototype, which was developed by a consortium of domestic companies led by Mitsubishi Heavy, at the plant in the town of Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture.

The fighter will first undergo ground tests before making its maiden flight in mid-February or later.

The country's first domestically made stealth fighter - 14.2 meters long, 9.1 meters wide and 4.5 meters high - is scheduled to fly from Nagoya airport, which is adjacent to the factory, to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force's Gifu Air Base in Kakamigahara in neighboring Gifu Prefecture.

The agency said the development of a full-scale test model began in fiscal 2009, with costs for the program totaling about ¥39.4 billion (about $331 million).

防衛装備庁は28日、国産初のステルス戦闘機開発に向け、防衛省の発注を受けて三菱重­工業などが製造している試作機「先進技術実証機」を、愛知県豊山町の同社工場で報道陣­に初公開した。
News sources: Japan Times, Kyodo
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