|Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
Japan F-2A Jet Fighter
Misawa AB 2016 "3 Squadron 60th Anniversary"
|HOBBY MASTER COLLECTOR
|During the 1980s the U.S. military wasn’t interested in an updated version of the F-16 so they
passed on the opportunity. Japan was replacing some of their aging fleet and decided to develop
the new F-16 Agile Falcon in cooperation with Mitsubishi and Lockheed Martin. Production began
in 1996 with the first aircraft being delivered in 2000. The new aircraft was named the F-2 and
soon earned the nickname “Viper Zero”. Although the F-2 looks similar to the original F-16 it is
larger in almost every aspect.
The JASDF 3rd Squadron “Samurai Spirits” was formed on October 1, 1956 as their first actual
fighter unit and not a training unit. The squadron made their home base at Misawa Air Base on
December 1, 1971. In September 1977 they belonged to the 3rd Air Wing at Misawa and began
receiving the Mitsubishi F-1 aircraft. In September 2000 they began to replace the F-1 with the
Mitsubishi F-2A Fighter. In 2016 F-2A 43-8524 received a paint scheme honoring the 60th
Anniversary of the 3rd Squadron, the longest serving JASDF squadron.
Specifications Mitsubishi F-2A & F-2B
Nickname - Viper Zero
F-2A - Single-seat Multi-role fighter
F-2B - Two-seat training version, fully combat capable
Powerplant: (1) General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofan
Dry thrust - 76 kN (17,000 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner - 131 kN (29,500 lbf)
Maximum speed - Mach 2.0
Range - 520 miles (834 km) on anti-ship mission
Service ceiling - 59,000 ft (18,000 m)
Length - 50 ft 11 in (15.52 m)
Wingspan - 36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
Height - 15 ft 5 in (4.69 m)
Wing area - 375 ft² (34.84 m²)
Empty - 21,000 lb (9,527 kg)
Loaded - 33,000 lb (15,000 kg)
Max takeoff - 48,700 lb (22,100 kg)
(1) 20 mm JM61A1 cannon
Capable of carrying up to 17,820 lb (8,085 kg) weapon load on 11 hard points. They
are located - #1 and #11 at the wing tips, #2-5 and #7-10 under the wings, and #6 under the
Air-to-air - AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow, Mitsubishi AAM-3, Mitsubishi AAM-4
Air-to-ground - ASM-1 and ASM-2 anti-ship missiles.
Various free-fall bombs with GCS-1 IIR seeker heads, Mk 82 and JM177 bombs
CBU-87, JDAM and JLAU-3/A or RL-4 rocket pods.
Others - J/AAQ-2 FLIR
Mitsubishi Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system including J/APG-1.
Some differences between the F-2 and the F-16
F-2 has a 25% larger wing area.
F-2 is manufactured using composite materials to reduce overall weight and radar signature.
F-2 is longer and wider nose to accommodate phased-array radar.
F-2 has a larger tail-plane.
F-2 has a larger air intake.
F-2 has a three-piece cockpit canopy.
F-2 is equipped with a drogue parachute.