The armed forces of the Self-Defense Forces of Japan continue to consist of several double modifications of the multipurpose F-2B fighter. The car has a significantly increased vitality and productivity due to the presence of the operator of the systems, but for the volume of the fuselage spent on the place of the co-pilot, had to sacrifice the volume of the fuel tank, trimmed by about 600 kg compared to F-2A
Starting with testing the radar signature of the reduced prototype glider of the future Japanese advanced 5 fighter ATD-X, which took place back in 2005 by the Technical Defense Design Institute (TRDI) of the Ministry of Defense of Japan, the country first began to demonstrate a high level of self-sufficiency in some of the most important areas of its own defense industry, which was previously based solely on the development of the leading American companies "Lockheed Martin" and "Boeing". The pace of development of the ATD-X "Shinshin" was forced immediately after 2007, when Washington refused to Tokyo to conclude a contract for the purchase of American F-22A "Raptor" multirole fighters. As a result of this, after the fruitful 9-year work of TRDI employees and specialists of Mitsubisi Heavy Industries, 22 of April 2016, the air was completely different from other advanced fighter-class cars, whose exact design and technical parameters were not disclosed, but are “a hodgepodge “Combining all the available and visible benefits of the T-50 PAK-FA, Raptor and Lightning. This unit still has time to show itself, and in our today's review we will look at the planned update program of the “right hand Sinsina” - the multi-purpose fighter of the generation “4 ++” F-2A / B.
According to a report published by 20 on July at the Military Parity with reference to Western sources, the Japanese Ministry of Defense developed a document requesting Lockheed Martin and Boeing companies to provide information on possible options for upgrading the F-61A and 2 F single-seat fighter. -14B, which are today the most modern machines of transitional generation in comparison with the F-2J and F-15DJ. Based on information from various sources, the further fate of the F-15A / B will depend on the aircraft modernization configurations provided by US corporations, and supposedly, if the Japanese are not satisfied with the options, the design of the new generation of aircraft will begin to replace them. But this option is absolutely not true.
First, designing a new fighter for the Japanese treasury will cost an extra bit of money, and it will take at least 5-7 years to complete. The new 4 ++ generation machine is unlikely to pay for itself, since 2021 is the 2023 year, when all the attention and money will have to be spent solely on finishing avionics, imparting operational readiness and serial production of ATN-X 5 fighters. Sinsin. It would be much more sensible to save and upgrade all existing F-2 with the efforts of Lockheed and TRDI to the level of F-16C Block 60 or even higher, and this potential of the Japanese Falcons is much greater than that of F-16C Block 40. Similar work can be done with X-NUMX F-156J / DJ fighters, bringing them to the level of South Korean F-15K, American F-15SE "Silent Eagle" or Japanese versions of overseas and national modernization - F-15MJ and radical stealth F-15J versions, digital thumbnails of which were published a couple of years ago.
Secondly, Japan’s Air Defense Forces have long been familiarized with the work of the Taiwanese aerospace company Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) on the 144 update program of the first versions of Fighting Falcons, which in 2017 will begin the modernization of the aging fleet in the main phase. F-16A / B Block 20 to F-16V level. The profound improvement in the avionics of these aircraft is based on replacing the outdated AN / APG-66 radar with a slot antenna array with the latest radar of active AN / APG-83 SABR phased array with synthetic aperture modes, mapping of the terrain and selection of moving small-size maritime and land-based land and ground systems, and selection of moving small-size sea and land-based ground and aerial selection systems. The estimated cost of upgrading the 75 F-2 will cost the Japanese no more than 2,5 — 3 billion dollars, because the cockpit information field, the inertial navigation system, and the SSE machines already correspond to the 4 + generation, and the number in 2 is less than in Taiwan. Recall that this program will cost about 3,7 billion dollars to Taiwan, since almost all the “old” stuffing of F-16A / B is subject to replacement.
Despite the constructive similarity of JAPANESE F-2A / B WITH ALL FOSSILERS OF THE F-16 FAMILY, THE MITSUBISHI PRODUCT HAS THE BEST AERODYNAMIC AND MODERNIZATION QUALITIES
Work on the first project of the national Japanese fighter FS-X, which began in TRDI in 1985, was hastily curtailed already in 1987 due to the lack of experience in conducting research on the aerodynamic qualities of promising supersonic aircraft, and the lobby of pro-American circles in the defense departments and the Japanese leadership which under no circumstances wanted to lose a large share of the arms market for the States. The United States refused to provide TRDI with specialists and its own groundwork for the design of an exclusively Japanese fighter, and as a result, Tokyo imposed a program to develop a machine based on the upgraded base of the American F-16C Block 40 fighter "Night Falcon".
When comparing the glider silhouettes of the base F-16C Block 40 and the F-2A built on its base, the constructive bias towards the maneuvering qualities of the latter is clearly visible. The total area of the wing and rudders is more than 25% higher than the indicators of "Night Falcon"
The program was launched in October 1987 under the same FS-X designation, in accordance with the Japanese-US intergovernmental agreement, and then, in the spring of 1990, was finally approved by the signing of a contract between Lockheed Martin and the Japanese consortium led by Mitsubisi Heavy Industries. It also included Fuji Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Considering the Japanese desire to create a machine capable of at least a step closer to the maneuverability qualities that our MiG-29А / С and Su-27С families possess, many American experts noticed in the “Agile Falcon” program (more maneuverable version F -16A for equal melee air combat with the Falkrumes and the Flankers with a large span and wing area).
In comparison with the Block 2 / 40, the F-50A glider got the wing area increased by 1,25 times with an increase in 18% span and also its sweep reduced from 40 to 33 degrees. With a sharp and positive impact on the angular velocity of the fighter, as well as the bearing qualities of the airframe, the specific load on the wing with a normal take-off mass remained the same for the Falcons in 430 kg / m2. The practical F-2 ceiling passes for 18 km (the Falcons have just 16,5 km). The introduction of a large percentage of composite materials into the design contributed to a slight increase in mass. The large capacity of the internal fuel tanks of the single-seater F-1000A with an increased wing area on the 2 resulted in an 43% increase in combat range (from 579 to 830 km) compared to the Night Falcon, which is very important for Japan’s Air Defense Forces an important criterion in the conduct of patrols near the Diaoyudao (Senkaku) archipelago. F-2A can reach these lines from Kagoshima Air Base (in southern Japan) without the help of tanker aircraft.
Many could argue that for these tasks there are one and a half hundred F-15J / DJ fighters, but the capabilities of these machines in confrontation with modern Chinese J-10B and J-11B are severely limited, since the same AN radar is on board the Japanese Needles. / APG-63 with SCHAR, which is several times less perfect than the new Chinese PPAR / AFAR stations. Thanks to the highest LTX among all modifications of the F-16, today the F-2A / B are considered the most formidable Japanese fighter before acquiring ATD-X primary combat readiness.
Now specifically about the modernization. In addition to the excellent flight performance of the F-2A, improving its avionics will give odds to even such machines as the Israeli F-16I "Sufa" and the American F-16C Block 60. Initially, all serial aircraft, for the first time in world practice, received airborne radar with AFAR J / APG-1, which are based on one of the most advanced semiconductors - gallium arsenide (GaAs). Higher than that of silicon, the mobility of electrons makes it possible to achieve better quality and speed of the radiating and receiving cycles of PPM in any frequency range. In addition, emitting elements from GaAs have a lower noise coefficient, are capable of long-term operation at high power, and also maintain an acceptable level of operation even at the time of the observed radioactive attack factors of a nuclear explosion. The J / APG-1 station antenna array from Mitsubishi Electric consists of 800 RMS and LMS developed at the beginning of 90, and therefore the maximum number of targets accompanied on the aisle - all 10 units captured by the exact auto tracking - 4, with target detection range with EPR 1 м2 120 - 130 km. For the threats of the 21st century, these parameters are “a threesome”. A more sophisticated radar is required, with a large number of modes and throughput for linking targets to a few dozen aerial objects.
The list of radar applicants for the Japanese fighter is small, it could be: an improved radar such as J / APG-2 from a Japanese manufacturer, which today is mentioned in the Internet editions as the basis of the radio electronic filling of the inconspicuous “Shinshin”, and also the American AN / APG-80 and AN / APG-83 SABR. The first is mounted on an F-16C Block 60 and is able to detect an air target of type F / A-18E / F (with suspensions) at a distance of 120 km. From the radar type AN / APG-68 (V) 9 it is distinguished not only AFAR, but also the viewing sector in the azimuth and elevation planes, constituting 140 degrees. Starting from AN / APG-80, a software opportunity appeared to increase the number of tracked targets from 20 to 50 units, which makes the F-16C Block 60 pilot more knowledgeable in a difficult tactical air situation even when the E-3C “airborne radars” are not available , E-767, etc.
Another very important quality radar type AN / APG-80 and AN / APG-83 SABR - the presence of a low probability mode of interception of the scanning signal LPI (Low-Probability of intercept). The radar operates in broadband frequency modulation with a noise-like type of radio wave, which creates considerable difficulties in detecting the carrier of such on-board radar, especially with the additional use of REB systems. At the moment, these stations are well-worn out by Chinese J-10A pilots with “Pearls” on board, as well as Su-30МК2 with outdated Н001ВЭ radar, but to suffer from Su-35С and J-20 is not their destiny. The problem is that the number of the first and second in the Celestial is very small.
Like their “parental” radar with an AN / APG-68 (V) 9, APG-80 and SABR radar can map the terrain and “lead” the targets in the mode of the synthesized aperture, but with better resolution. The stations can be synchronized with the JHMCS on-target tracking system, which will give the Japanese F-2A / B the best angles of sight and capture of enemy fighters in the BVB.
As a promising weapon of the air-to-air class for the updated Japanese fighters, the long-range AA-4B rocket is indicated, on which the same Mitsubishi has been working on for about 5 years. The rocket is radically different from all the novelties that we see in Raytheon, MBDA and other Western corporations: for it, the designed active radar HOS with PAR, which in terms of accuracy and noise immunity will significantly surpass the AIM-120D or Meteor missiles, and in case of a miss, it will carry out an independent additional search and selection of the most priority remaining targets. The range of this rocket should be about 120 km.
Perspective Japanese long-range air combat rocket AA-4B
The last, no less important part of the modernization may consist in equipping the Japanese F-2 fighter jets with an optical-location sighting system of the J / AAQ-2 IRST type in the module in front of the cockpit, as is done on Russian fighters, Rafale, some F-15J and American "60 Block". Unlike the container version under the fuselage, on the suspension, or on the side of the air intake, this configuration will provide more abilities to combat aircraft in the upper hemisphere. The J / AAQ-2 complex is also integrated into the general SLA of the fighter with the JHMCS: F-2A / Helmet targeting system / can position themselves as worthy "close fighters" who are not inferior to the Chinese J-10A. For the final improvement of the quality of the BVB, the Ministry of Defense of Japan can conclude a contract for the purchase of a batch of several hundred AIM-9X Block II / III, which today are in high demand in the Air Force of Europe, Front and Southeast Asia.
In 2027, it was planned to start writing off all the F-2A / B in service, but judging by the huge modernization stock of the Japanese car, as well as the upgrade options that are in Lockheed Martin and TRDI, they will still be able to show yourself at the air theater of war of the mid-twenty-first century.