[April Fools 2024] Taiga ASF-X ShindenⅡ : Icarus Still Flying

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Hello Forum friends!
Today I would like to introduce you to Japan’s most advanced fighter aircraft, the ASF-X Shinden II.

Taiga Heavy Industry ASF-X SindenⅡ


ASF-X is a demonstration aircraft developed by Taiga Heavy Industry. The aircraft is owned by the Cooperative Test and Evaluation Squadron under the command of TRDI (Technical Research and Development Institute=TRDI) of the Japanese Ministry of Defense. It is called ASF-X from the initials of the Advanced Support Fighter-X project name.

The nickname Shinden II comes from the fact that the descendants of engineers involved in the development of the J7W Shinden, which Japan produced during WWII, participated in the Taiga’s development team.

J7W Shinden Image



ASF-X Background

Development of ASF-X began in May 2003. This development plan was not dictated by the Japanese government or Ministry of Defense, but was the sole decision of Kenichi Sasagawa, president of Taiga Heavy Industry.
The impetus for the development of the ASF-X came from the simultaneous airspace incursions that occurred in Japan in 2002.

Simultaneous airspace violation incidents


May 23, 2002. Two aircraft of unknown nationality passed over cities in Kyushu and Hokkaido, Japan, at a low altitude of 300 meters at supersonic speed. The two aircraft entered from the Pacific Ocean side, and when they passed over Japan, they headed toward the Sea of Japan side and disappeared. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military in Japan were unable to detect this aircraft on their radar sites, shocking both the Japanese and U.S. governments. In particular, Japan’s air defense posture was reviewed after its airspace was violated.

The development team, under Sasagawa’s direction, began working on the aircraft in May 2003.
The basic design of the aircraft began in May 2003. Taiga, which had previously merged with the American aircraft manufacturer Fore Jet, was skilled in manufacturing aircraft that made extensive use of composite materials. However, it was difficult to develop the all-important small jet engines for fighter planes in Japan. So they asked the British to develop an engine, and EJ and RR accepted the request. Conversely, the British asked Taiga for STOVL (Short Take-Off Vertical Landing =STOVL) capability for their new fighter, and they agreed. The STOVL aircraft would require more development cost and time, but Sasakawa, concerned about the deteriorating situation around Japan, gave the go-ahead to the development team. The engines were developed for CTOL aircraft by EJ and STOVL aircraft by RR.

In May 2010, the Japanese Ministry of Defense agreed to the performance specifications presented by Taiga for a new fighter aircraft (Shinden II); in June, development of an anti-aircraft missile for the Shinden II began.

May 2011. The Ministry of Defense unveils a mock-up of the completed Shinden II to the Japanese media and to the rest of the world. There, the Ministry of Defense announced the planned name of the next support fighter as the ”Advanced Support Fighter-X (ASF-X) program”

After 10 years of development, the CTOL ASF-X-01 (serial number 40-8001) was finally completed in May 2013, with first flight at Taiga Heavy Industry in August, and testing began.

In February 2014, the ASF-X-01 was delivered to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, and in March various tests, including flight tests, were conducted by the Cooperative Test and Evaluation Squadron organized by TRDI (Technical Research and Development Institute=TRDI).
The STOVL type ASF-X-02 (60-8002) was delivered to the Ministry of Defense in June 2016, ASF-X-03 (60-8003) in July and ASF-X-04 (60-8004) in August.

A total of four ASF-Xs were built. Later, these four aircraft experienced actual combat.

ASF-X Shinden II
ASF-X parked next to an F-15J. (special thanks @MAUSWAFFE ASF-X image courtesy)
The man standing in front of the aircraft is mechanical designer Shōji Kawamori.

Incident coast of Haneda


This incident occurred in August 2017 off the coast of Haneda, Japan.This was ASF-X’s first actual combat.At the time, the Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO), which was to travel between the International Space Station ISS-II and the ground, had trouble descending to Earth from outside the atmosphere and had to change its landing site to Japan. An SSTO escort was scheduled to take off from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, but an accident occurred during takeoff, rendering the base’s runway unusable. Therefore, JASDF urgently sent two ASF-Xs, which were undergoing endurance testing in full AAM status, to the SSTO escort.
After visually confirming the SSTO, the ASF-X approached and encountered a fighter of unknown nationality and engaged it. Six more unmanned fighters of unknown nationality joined the fight.

An attack from a fighter of unknown nationality hit ASF-X-01, damaging it to the point of losing its left wing, but 01 later returned safely to base. (This also proved the high stability capability of ASF-X.)
The remaining ASF-X-02 continued the fight and shot down five UAVs. In this battle, ASF-X used the AAM-4 and the new XAAM-7 infrared guided missile.

Battle of Tokyo Air Deffense


An air battle between the JSDF and the NRF (a coup group calling itself the New Russian Federation) occurred on September 15, 2018. Four ASF-X aircraft participated in this battle. Firing tests with live ammunition had begun on the 14th, and were scheduled to be conducted on the day of the incident.
Details of the incident remain confidential to this day, and the actions of the ASF-X that participated in the actual battle are unknown. However, eyewitness accounts from several civilians during the evacuation say that the ASF-X outmaneuvered the NRF’s Type-37.

Image of the situation in this battle

ASF-X-04 flying at low altitude

ASF-X-03 (top) and ASF-X-02 (bottom)
600-gallon drop tanks are mounted on the wings.

Eventually, these four ASF-Xs were transferred to the Air Development and Test Wing (ADTW) of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, where they were operated as a test bed after the F-3 (the officially adopted ASF-X model) was manufactured.



The design of the ASF-X is unique. The aircraft consists of a canard, wing and V-shaped tail-wing.
It is designed with an emphasis on maneuverability to gain an advantage in aerial combat, and its main wings are forward-swept wing. The engines are arranged vertically in the fuselage. This is similar to the British Lightning.

Designed as a CCV (Control Configured Vehicle) with computer-controlled, Relaxed Static Stability to stabilize the aircraft.

The main wings are angled forward at 28 degrees, and the wingtips are designed to fold downward to a 45-degree angle. Taiga Heavy Industry calls this -45 degree condition the CCV mode. In this state, the aircraft can maintain excellent maneuverability even at low speeds, and it also improves air combat maneuverability.

The V-shaped tail wing is a tail wing that combines the functions of both Vertical Stabilizer and Horizontal Stabilizer. The angle can be changed from -45 to 120 degrees.
-45 degrees is Vertical Landing and CCV
45 degrees is the normal form
90 degrees is Super Cruise
120 degrees is Stealth super cruise

The engines of the ASF-X were initially arranged in parallel on the left and right sides, but when the decision was also made to develop the STOVL type, the engines were changed to an upper and lower arrangement. The CTOL model has two EJ2020 turbofan engines, while the STOVL model has one F144 and one F145 turbofan engine. The EJ2020 engine was developed as a development of the EJ200. Dry thrust is 78.2 kN and reheated thrust is 102 kN.

The engine uses a paddle-type thrust deflector nozzle. The range of motion of the paddle is 25 degrees up and down, 5 degrees left and right for the CTOL type, and 25 degrees up, 95 degrees down, and 5 degrees left and right for the STOVL type.

There are four weapon bays in the fuselage of the ASF-X. The forward bay is dedicated to short-range AAMs, and each bay can hold up to two IR-guided AAMs. The rear bay can accommodate short- and medium-range AAMs, 2000-lb class bombs, and improved anti-ship missiles.
One of the interesting cases. By eliminating the front and rear bulkheads, this weapon bay can also accommodate a 6-meter-long anti-ship missile.


One wing has three hardpoints, where it can also carry various AAMs, general purpose bombs, anti-ship missiles, rocket pods, and 600 or 300 gallon drop tanks.
For close combat, an M61A1 20mm Vulcan cannon is built into the base of the left wing, which opens its shutters when firing.

The radar is an APG-2 multifunction fire control AESA radar enhanced with British technology. Detection capability is estimated to be 200 km for non-stealth targets.

The ASF-X has an optical sensor under the nose similar to the F-35’s EOTS, but it does not have a laser target designator, only FLIR.

ASF-X Specifications

Crew : 1
Length : 19.5m
Wingspan : 14.0m
Height : 3.56m
Wing area : 54.2m²
Empty weight : 15,300kg (STOVL= 16,800kg)
Internal Fuel : 2,500kg
Maximum takeoff weight : 31,200kg (STOVL=33,000kg)
Powerplant :
CTOL type : 2x EJ2020(Dry 8000kgf Reheated 10,420kgf)
STOVL type 1x RR F144(Dry 8000kgf Reheated 10,420kgf)
1x RR F145(Dry 8000kgf Reheated 10,420kgf)
Maximum speed : Mach 1.6
Cruise speed : Mach 1.2
Max ferry range :
CTOL type : 800km(internal fuel) 1200km(with drop tank)
STOVL type : 750km(internal fuel) 1000km+(with drop tank)
Altitude : 19,500m

4x internal weapons bays
6x wing hardpoints

Gun : M61A1 Vulcan(internal) 640 rounds

Air to Air armament :
8x AAM-3(internal bays) 12x AAM-3(wing hardpoints)
4x AAM-4(internal bays) 6x AAM-4(wing hardpoints)
8x AAM-5(internal bays) 12x AAM-5(wing hardpoints)
8x AAM-7(internal bays) 12x AAM-7(wing hardpoints)

Air to Surface armament :
2x ASM-2B+(internal bays) 4x ASM-2B+(wing hardpoints)
2x ASM-3B(internal bays) 2x ASM-3B(wing hardpoints)

Bomb :
2x 500lb Bomb(internal bays)18x 500lb Bomb(wing hardpoints)
6x 2000lb Bomb(wing hardpoints)

Rocket pod :
4x JLAU-3/A 70mm rocket pod(1pod 19 rounds)

Other :
2x 600 gallons drop tank
4x 300 gallons drop tank

Countermeasure : Chaff&Flare Yes

Historical Sources



Other sources


ASF-X Shinden II | Acepedia | Fandom


ASF-X 震電II - Wikipedia

エースコンバット イカロス・イン・ザ・スカイ 山本平次郎

エースコンバット アサルト・ホライゾン マスターファイル ASF-X震電Ⅱ


NGL, I want it so badly :D


How this got approved, I have no qualms lol absolute chad getting it posted


Additional image of the ASF-X in a hangar next to an F-15J. Standing on front of the aircraft is Shōji Kawamori, lead engineer for the project.


ASF-X Shinden II


Thank you. I was looking for this image.

Added image :)


I know this is all for April 1st. but why not really do an event with Ace Combat in War Thunder on April 1?



They would sue tf out of Gaijin

Does it come with THAT! camo that will distract the enemy long enough for us to get the upper hand and gives allies a morale boost?

I’m willing to throw my wallet!

Studios can make a collaboration.

ace combat?
This when?


Is this a april fool’s day joke???