Japan’s first ever stealth fighter jet was unveiled today with the maiden test-flight planned next month.
The domestically developed, radar dodging X-2 fighter jet was revealed by the defense ministry’s acquisition agency at a regional airport near the central city of Komaki.
According to the acquisition agency, its first flight is scheduled in mid-February before the delivery to the defense ministry on march next year.
The X-2 was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, it measures 14.2 meters (47 feet) long 9.1 meters wide. It was the successor of the F-2 fighter jets which was developed together with the United States.
The agency said that only the United States, Russia and China are the country that is internationally recognized to successfully developed and flown a manned stealth jets.
It comes as Japan tries to catch up on the technology and enhance its reconnaissance and intelligence capabilities as China expands its own military presence in the region.
According to reports, Japan has spent about 39.4 billion yen ($332 million) to develop the stealth fighter jet.
In November Japan’s first domestically produced passenger jet, also developed by Mitsubishi Heavy, made its maiden test flight, a landmark development for the country after being barred from developing aircraft following its defeat in World War II.
Mitsubishi Heavy also develops Japan’s first domestically produced passenger jet in November last year, a landmark development for Japan after being banned from developing aircraft following its World War II defeat.