XF-2A 63-8502 Testing New Technology

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Hello again! today I will talk about XF-2A 63-8502 the second prototype of the F-2 which tested a unique sensor that could be interesting gameplay in War Thunder!

Short History
The FS-X later called XF-2A origins can be traced back to the early 1980’s and the highly secretive Laboratory Three division of Japan’s Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI). There, studies were being carried out to investigate the options for an indigenous design, combining long range with maneuverability, to meet the particular requirements of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). In 1987, the JASDF selected a variant of the F-16C as the Japanese FS-X aircraft to replace the Mitsubishi F-1 aircraft, and in 1988 Mitsubishi was selected as prime contractor for the aircraft, which became known as the F-2. The program involved technology transfer from the USA to Japan, and responsibility for cost sharing was split 60% by Japan and 40% by the USA. Four flying prototypes were developed, along with two static prototypes for static testing and fatigue tests. Flight trials of the prototypes were successfully completed by 1997. After the F-2s entering service in the 2000s the first and second (63-8502) prototypes now are test aircraft for new technology and equipment and continue to fly to this day.

Description of the 3d passive direction finding system
Around 2012 the second prototype 63-8502 was seen with a unique sensor called “3d passive direction finding system” which worked together with the RWR. The sensor is located at the top of the vertical stabilizer and is pretty simple in design.

While more concrete information is still being looked for, the way the system works in basic terms is that when an enemy aircraft is locking on to the friendly aircraft with this system equipped, the pilot will be able to have the exact location of the enemy pilot with the help of the radar emissions and the 3D sensor. This includes an estimate of speed, location, altitude and heading. What is even more interesting is this system in theory can be used with the AAM-4 missile (It’s unknown if it only works with the AAM-4 or AAM-4B or both). Using the radar emissions from the enemy aircraft and with the help of RWR and the 3D passive direction finding system after a enemy pilot locks on to the mother aircraft the pilot can then send a AAM-4 fox 3 missile without the need of using radar or locking him. the missile will then rely on the information provided by the emissions and the on board system eventually going Pitbull and hitting the target. However more information is still needed to confirm that function with the missiles.

However after 2012 the system was no longer seen on 63-8502 and it’s assumed the system did not proceed with production use.

Image explaining the system


Up-close look at the sensor


Picture showing the range of which the system can detect the direction of the aircraft vs radar


In game
In War Thunder this system will be interesting as it will mean that not only will you see the pilot locking you and his exact location but you could immediately fire a missile toward them. even if the enemy radar lock brakes, the missile can eventually activate its own radar and possibly still hit. If Gaijin does not allow the use for AAM-4 with this sensor it will still be useful to know the exact location of someone who is locking you especially in sim battles. Other then that since it is from 2012 this would be comparable to a late F-2 and have the similar capabilities so I think this can fit better as a squadron vehicle.



General characteristics

Crew: 1

Length: 15.52 m (50 ft 11 in)

Wingspan: 11.125 m (36 ft 6 in) over missile launchers

10.8 m (35 ft) without missile launchers

Wing area: 34.84 m2 (375.0 sq ft)

Aspect ratio: 3.3

Empty weight: 9,527 kg (21,003 lb)

Gross weight: 13,459 kg (29,672 lb) clean

Max takeoff weight: 22,100 kg (48,722 lb)

Maximum landing weight: 18,300 kg (40,300 lb)

Fuel capacity: 4,637 l (1,225 US gal; 1,020 imp gal) maximum internal fuel 4,588 l (1,212 US gal; 1,009 imp gal)

Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F110-IHI-129 afterburning turbofan, 76 kN (17,000 lbf) thrust dry, 131 kN (29,500 lbf) with afterburner


Maximum speed: 2,124 km/h (1,320 mph, 1,147 kn)

Maximum speed: Mach 2.0 at high altitude, Mach 1.1 at low altitude

Combat range: 833 km (518 mi, 450 nmi) +

Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,000 ft)

Wing loading: 634.3 kg/m2 (129.9 lb/sq ft) maximum


  • 20 mm M61 cannon: 511 rounds
  • 4x AAM-3
  • 4x AAM-5A/B
  • 4x AAM-4/B
  • 4x ASM-1
  • 4x ASM-2
  • 2x ASM-3/A
  • 8x GBU-38
  • GCS-1 kit
  • 12x 500Ib Mk.82


  • J/APG-2 AESA radar
  • 3d passive direction finding system






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+1 I feel the need

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+1 i need this

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