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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Mitsubishi F-2


+1 I feel the need


+1 i need this

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+1 for me!

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Since the f-15 came out in the last major update, Air Superiority; along with the aam-3s. I feel like this jet can be added with aam-3s, aim7 variant, and some dumb fire-bombs and rockets. The jdams bombs and the missiles past the aam-3 can be added later.

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Most likely not this specific variant, as it appears to be a very modern version that prototypes 3d rwr. It’d also be really sad to see such a advanced unit recieve just the aim7m. Most likely would be the early xf2 or f2. I hope the predictions are right though that it will appear in march or so.

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Kinda be nice for japans top tier to be actually japanese

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Maybe be late but +1

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Personally I’d like to see an XF-2A/E (E for Early) that doesn’t have the advanced weapons and can sit at the same BR as the F-15J. Then an XF-2A (not early, but not the crazy radar one from the other suggestion) that can be the “intro” to ARH BVR for Japan, leading the line into the F-2A and XF-2A/L (the one with the crazy radar).

Something like this
F-16AJ - stays as is and/or is removed (probably stays as is though)
XF-2A/E - AIM-9P(-4 and -5), AIM-9L/M, AAM-3, and AIM-7F/M/P, along with ground ordnance.
XF-2A - Basically the same as the one before it but missing AIM-9P-4 and receiving the AIM-120A in exchange. I know Japan technically didn’t use the 120A, but this is for balance more than anything as the AAM-4 is more equivalent to an AIM-120C.

F-2A - Standard F-2, with AIM-9L/M, AAM-3, maybe AAM-5, AIM-7M/P and AIM-120A/AAM-4.
XF-2A/L - The one from the other suggestion, basically being a “F-2A/L” and the XF-2A/L merged into one with practically the same loadout as before but with AAM-5 and AAM-4B included as well.

I don’t think japan bought aim9p4-5s, nor did they buy the aim9m or aim7p.
The aim9m in the f15j is fictional, and only serves to spread out the rp cost per module/add a missile at rank 3

Most of the missiles I picked were for balance reasons/incremental improvement and not because Japan actually used them.

Japan never had AIM-9P4/5 or AIM-9M, but AIM-9L and AAM-3 should be more than enough to cover the IR loadouts of the aircraft. Japan also never had AIM-7P, but once again AIM-7M seems sufficient for an XF-2A which would have either an AN/APG-68 radar or even an early J/APG-1 prototype.
As for ground ordnance, the early XF-2A would be limited to unguided options and 500lb and 750lb boms with GCS-1 guidance kit.

I like the idea, but I don’t think AIM-120 was ever integrated with the F-2. Even the AAM-4 seems to use a different guidance method using the J/ARG-1 transmitter added with late F-2s.
At this point I feel like following the earlier XF-2A with an F-2A and an F-2A (late) seems to make a bit more sense. Anything tested on the XF-2 that wasn’t implemented on the serial F-2s would then be saved for an XF-2A (late).

XF-2A - AIM-9L/AAM-3, AIM-7F/AIM-7M, JM61A1, AN/APG-68 (or prototype J/APG-1)
F-2A - AAM-3, AIM-7M, JM61A2, J/APG-1
F-2A (late) - AAM-5/5B, AAM-4/4B, JM61A2, J/APG-2, also adds JHMCS and improved ait to ground options with Sniper TGP and LJDAM
XF-2A (late)- AAM-5/5B, AAM-4/4B, JM61A2, F-X prototype radar and other tech tested but not implemented on production F-2s

Fair enough, but for the AMRAAM specifically I am not sure if it could even be used on the F-2s.
For the first AMRAAM carrier we’d have to look elsewhere, either to the F-15J MSIP with AIM-120B or perhaps a Thai aircraft like an F-16A variant.

Yeah, I’ll admit that all of those are way too much. But IMO the P-4 or P-5 should be stock for these types of aircraft going forward, since they’re slightly worse AIM-9Ls and AIM-9Ms respectively. Japan did have the P-3, so I feel like a P-4 especially isn’t too far fetched.

As for the AIM-7P, this is assuming that if/when they add it, they properly model the lofting trajectory of the 7P which would give it further reach than the 7M. The AIM-7P also has superior countermeasure resistance to the 7M, not that CCM needed too much in the current state of BVR combat, and datalink/mid-course correction capability. So I think that if we reach the apex of Sparrows and they’re not completely overshadowed by ARH missiles, the 7P is necessary for these fighters that are just prior to widespread introduction of ARH.

They’ve made exceptions before, for balance reasons especially. The one that comes to mind is the Skyflash on Gripen, which can’t/couldn’t use it.
The main reason I specified AIM-120A is because, imo, there is a significant enough range difference between the AIM-120A and the AAM-4, of about 30nmi (55km?). As far as I know, the AIM-120A has a range of 25-30nmi (55km or so), while the AAM-4 (and the AIM-120C-5) have ranges at or above 60nmi (100km), which in my mind necessitates it being added to something like the XF-2A in order not to have a jump in capabilities too quickly.
To me, this is even more important if the initial ARH plane is followed by a better one, such as the XF-2A to F-2A. The difference in range (and thus capability) in these ARH missiles is just too large to ignore.

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The AIM-7Ms used by Japan are H-Builds and should have most of the features of AIM-7Ps.

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That’s good to know, but I don’t believe that the MH Sparrows have the more important features of the Ps, such as mid-course correction and data link. So if added, even with MH Sparrows, they might be lacking compared to the contemporary with P Sparrows.

Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.