Mitsubishi F-2A Viper Zero (Late) - The Modern Zero Ameliorated

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Mitsubishi F-2A Viper Zero (Late) - The Modern Zero Ameliorated

Hi and welcome to my 13th suggestion, which is about the Mitsubishi F-2A post modernizations and one of a few modern Japanese aircraft I want to suggest, hope you like it.

PS.: Isn´t the F-2A beautiful ? Can´t wait to replace my F-16AJ. :popcorn:

First of all:

  • This is a suggestion for an Aircraft we could see in game at some point in the Future , that doesn´t mean next Patch or somewhere in the near Future
  • I don´t want to force Gaijin to rush Top-tier air in any way
  • Feel free to share more Information and / or correct me if something is wrong
  • Discuss respectfully, any aggressive kind or verbal abuse will be reported, the Forum rules also apply here

grafik

Basic Background History

The origins of the FS-X can be traced back to the early 1980s and the top secret Laboratory Three division of Japan’s Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI). Studies were conducted there to examine the options for an indigenous design that would combine long range with maneuverability to meet the unique needs of the Japan Air Self-Defense Forces (JASDF). It became clear that striving for a fully indigenous design was unrealistic and help had to be sought abroad. In October 1987, the Japanese government announced that it would be developing a derivative version of the F-16C Block 40, known as the FS-X, to replace the JASDF’s Mitsubishi F-1 support fighters, which were to be phased out of active service in the second half of the 1990s. Launched in November 1988 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Japan and the United States, the program was the first joint fighter aircraft development program between Japan and the United States. The fighter was intended to be used exclusively by the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) and as such development was fully funded by Japan.
An important element in the F-2’s specification was its ability to carry four anti-ship (e.g. ASM-1 / ASM-2) or medium-to-long missiles (e.g. AIM-7M). This requirement dictated the need for increased wing area and other modifications. Although the F-2 is used for interception like other types of fighters in JASDF, its main role is seen as destroying enemy landing forces or enemy warships using anti-ship missiles.
The FS-X (Fighter Support Experimental) is being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as prime contractor with Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries as prime subcontractors. Development work was split roughly 60/40, with the Japanese partners responsible for the larger share. The first of four FS-X flight test aircraft rolled out of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki South Plant in Japan on January 12th, 1995 and completed its maiden flight on October 7th, 1995. at Mitsubishi’s test facilities in Nagoya. The Japanese Congress approved the production program in mid-1996. The Japanese government plans to purchase a total of 130 F-2 aircraft, despite previous significant questions in Japan about military needs and budgets and rumors that the number would be reduced to 70. Production deliveries of the F-2 will begin in 1999 and continue through 2011. In 2008, the Japanese government decided to cut production after building the 94th airframe.

grafik

The Mitsubishi F-2A Overall

The Mitsubishi F-2 is a 4.5th generation multirole support fighter built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed-Martin, derived from the F-16. There is no official nickname, fans and officials call it “Heisei Zero Fighter (平成の零戦)” or “Viper Zero (バイパーゼロ)”. At first glance, one can see only a few differences to the F-16, but in detail these are greater than one might assume. First, almost the entire airframe was adjusted; the wings are longer, wider and slightly pulled in the direction of flight which offers a total of 25% additional wing area, the nose is longer and wider to accommodate the new domestic AESA radars (J/APG-1 / -2), the tailplane, air intake has also been enlarged, the cockpit has received a 3-piece canopy with greater stability. Some parts of the electronics also differ from the F-16 in various ways, such as having its own flight control system and software. Less notable but worth noting, the F-2 has a drogue chute unlike most F-16s we have ingame and future blocks. Over the years, the F-2s in service have been modernized.

These modernizations implement the new J/APG-2 AESA radar, the improved AAM-4B, now equipped with AESA radar, and the new AAM-5B with improved IRCCM and HMS compatibility. In 2015, among other things, the AN/AAQ-33 Sniper ATP was tested for the first time and, according to Lockheed-Martin, also now integrated into the F-2, which enables the use of laser-guided bombs (e.g. GBU-54 L-JDAM) without second / third party targeting .

Future upgrades for chosen F-2As will include LINK16, a new mission computer and upcoming Type-12SSM with improved capabilites.

Armament of the F-2A (Late)

Thanks to the larger and structurally reinforced wings, more payload can be attached to each of the wings. Four medium- or long-range rockets and four additional short-/medium-range IR missiles can be mounted at the same time including one to three additional fuel tanks. But there is also no lack of air-to-surface armament; up to eight JDAM, L-JDAM (laser) bombs, four ASM-1 / ASM-2 or two supersonic ASM-3A missiles, four GSC-1 anti-ship and up to twelve 500Ib Mk.82 bombs. The main armament is an internal M61A2 with a total of 512 rounds. Further upgardes include the upcoming ASM-3 Kai and Type-12SSM, a stealth air-launched anti-ship-missile.
Unfortunately, I do not know whether the F-2 post-modernization still uses / can use AIM-9L and AIM-7M, which is why I am leaving them out here, but four of each could be carried so far.

Air-to-Air Missiles

  • 4x AAM-3
  • 4x AAM-5 / B
  • 4x AAM-4 / B

Guided- / Dumb-Bombs

  • 8x GBU-38
  • 8x GBU-54
  • 4-?x GCS-1 (500/750ib)
  • 4x CBU-87
  • 12x 500Ib Mk.82

Air-to-Surface Missiles

  • 4x ASM-1 / C
  • 4x ASM-2 / B
  • 2x ASM-3A

Specifications, Electronics and Internal

Like its predecessor, the new J/APG-2 is an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar. By using new gallium-nitride (GaN) technology for its transmit/receive modules, the power could be increased by 300% and the range by 120km. A new signal processor and other new components help process the data and ensure better reliability. The J/APG-2 is required, among other things, to be able to use the new AAM-4B, as it is not compatible with the first radar. The cockpit was fitted with four MFDS (multi-function displays set) and an ultra-wide angle HUD.
In addition, the introduction of radio wave absorbing material (RAM) aimed at improving stealth, and an increase in the in-flight fuel capacity (approximately 4,750 liters for the F-2A compared to approximately 3,896 liters for the F-16C). The F-2 can use the J/AAQ-2 FLIR pod for navigation and target tracking, but this cannot be used as a targeting pod.

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15,52 m
  • Wingspan: 11,13 m
  • Wing area: 34,84 m2
  • Empty weight: 9.527 kg
  • Loaded weight: 13.459 kg
  • Max. takeoff weight: 22.100 kg
  • Powerplant: 1x General Electric F110-IHI-129
    • Dry thrust: 76 kN
    • Thrust with afterburner: 131 kN
  • Maximum speed:
    • Mach 1,1 at sea level
    • Mach 2,0 at altitude
  • Service ceiling: 18.000 m
  • Wing loading:
    • Max.: 634,3 kg/m²
  • Thrust/weight:
    • Max.: 1,46
    • Min.: 0,63
  • Maximum g-load: +12g / -3g
  • Countermeassures: up to 120

Thanks for your time, hope you liked it :salute:

[Will add more if there are some (more) important / declassified things]

[PM or comment if a Link or Picture isn´t working]

Sources:

Links

https://www.mhi.com/jp/products/defense/f_2_close_support_fighter.html

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/equipment/sentouki/F-2/index.html
F-2 Support Fighter | Lockheed Martin

https://web.archive.org/web/20221001202604/https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/products/sniper.html

https://flyteam.jp/news/article/53490

https://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=185

Japan Lockheed Martin F-2 Fighter

https://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article16.html

aam-4 Archives

Mitsubishi AAM-5 | Weaponsystems.net
Aerospaceweb.org | Aircraft Museum - F-2 / FS-X

Mitsubishi F-2 | Thai Military and Asian Region

Mitsubishi F-2 "Viper Zero": Japan's Fighter Derived From The F-16 - The Aviationist

F-2 Support Fighter / FSX

https://www.mod.go.jp/atla/en/soubi_system.html

https://aerocorner.com/aircraft/mitsubishi-f-2 /

Overview — J/APG-2 — Airborne Radars — Sensors/Electronics — Weapons — Military Periscope

99Ž®‹ó‘΋ó—U“±’e(AAM-4)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287960791_Japan_upgrading_60_F-2s_with_AAM-4_JAPG-2

JM2040: 防衛装備庁、F-2能力向上改修を契約

Books / Other:
日本が生んだ傑作戦闘機F-2 - Eiwa Mook (2021)
Military Aircraft of the World 航空自衛隊F-2 - JWings Magazine (2020)
航空自衛隊F-2 - Eiwa Mook (2015)
航空自衛隊F-2 - Eiwa Mook (2010)
Troubled Partnership: A History of U.S.-Japan Collaboration on the FS-X Fighter - Mark Lorell (1995)
Lockheed-Martin F-16 - Greg Goebel (1st Edition / 2018)
Modern Fighter Aircraft - An Illustrated History of War Planes from 1945 to the Present Day - Francis Crosby (2004)
Jane´s All the World´s Aircraft 2000 - 2001
Jane´s All the World´s Aircraft 2007 - 2008

10 Likes

+1 will be a very advance end of line when it comes looking forward to it.

2 Likes

Indeed ! Now you can also add the Suggestion links to the F-2 and F-15 topics :D

1 Like

+1 Very good 4++ gen multirole fighter aircraft at rank IX

I think F-2A (late) could be 13.7

2 Likes

+1 Along with the Ealry version, this version is also something Japan should have someday.
The F-16AJ was just a trick to patch up with C&P, and it’s also a kind of insult to Japanese technology.

4 Likes

+1, just to add, but the XGCS-2 was a prototype development for a 2000lb guided bomb purported to have a BROACH warhead which was intended to be used on the F-2 as well, and personally I’d love to see it in the game.

XGCS-2 detached
XGCS-2
Here we see inert bombs being tested on an F-4EJ, likely for aerodynamic testing, however, it was never intended to be fielded aboard the Phantom.

5 Likes

We will look into it, thx.

F-2A (Early) suggestion is pending approval, stay tuned. :D

F-2A late equipped J/AAQ-2 FLIR pod or AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced targeting pod ?

The late service ones can equip sniper pod yes

Updated Air-to-Surface missile section

That’s cause F-2A is ~13.0 minimum more than likely.

Just nerf the loadout. There are already enough examples. It doesn’t matter as long as it has only IR missiles. Even if it has graviton radar and not AESA radar, what good is it without radar missiles? And the nerfed loadout can be buffed depending on the development situation. (e.g. Ammunition for Strv 122 and M1A2)

British Phantom: got nerfed radar
Swedish Saab 105s: got nerfed missiles (Rb 24J to Rb 24)
Swedish JA 37D: got nerfed missiles (Rb 99 to Rb 71)
Russian MiG-29: got nerfed missiles (R-73 to R-60M)
Chinese J-8F: got nerfed missiles (without PL-12)

And it probably goes without saying that the F-14B and Pantsir were implemented in the same update.
In conclusion, Gaijin’s excuse that it would be OP in the dev blog is not very credible.

2 Likes

That is with nerfed loadouts rather than impacting radar intentionally.
British Phantom’s radar isn’t intentionally nerfed.
F-14B is an okay 12.0, and Pantsir missiles are dodged perfectly. Neither are OP.
M1A2 & Strv 122 have their best ammo.

Well this version is the late with the newer J/APG-2 radar on so I dont think it needs to be nerfed. In a way the Early is the nerfed version since all it will carry is sparrows and has the original J/APG-1 radar still which im not sure how powerful the AESA will be when it’s limited to just sparrows.

But this specific version is endgame gen 4+ for Japan.

The reason Pantsir now easily dodges is due to changes to the physics logic for missiles. Let’s think back to when Pantsir was just around the corner.

The M829A2 on the M1A2 and the slpprj m/95 on the Strv 122 were later additions.

Yes, the physics changes that came WITH Pantsir, it had the physics from the start.
So yeah, F-2 will come when the BR for it is the next one in line, and that’ll be cool.

We don’t have the BR necessary for F-2 Early nor the prototype.

There seems to be some misunderstanding. I’m not talking about the version in this thread, but about the earlier version we should have gotten instead of the F-16AJ, mate! :)

Of course, given the current performance of the AIM-7, I don’t think it needs a nerf, even if it has an AESA radar. But I think it’s an alternative that can be shown to anyone who cries “AESA radar? That’s OP! It should be 13.0!” Also, as I explained earlier, if it turns out to be weaker than expected, it can be buffed simply by uncapping the loadout.

2 Likes

Pantsir: Announced in 27 February 2023
New physics for missiles: Announced in 31 May 2023

I demonstrated by example that balance can be adjusted through adjustments in loadout, which Gaijin calls one of the ‘soft factors’.

What is your purpose at this point? Quibbling someone’s words?

That’s new physics for everyone else.
Pantsir & 2S6 already had the new physics since the Pantsir released.

And radar is a hard factor, not a soft one.
AESA is happening whether you like it or not, thus its BR isn’t here.