A leaked image may show the famous Mitsubishi’s ATD-X Shinshin stealth fighter.
An image appeared on some Chinese forums, may show the first prototype of the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X), a fighter plane destined to replace Japan Air Self-Defense Force‘s Mitsubishi F-2 in the air defense role.
The aircraft, developed by the Japanese Ministry of Defense Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) for research purposes and unofficially known in Japan as Shinshin (meaning “spirit of the heart”, actually an early codename within the Japan Self Defense Force) is expected to fly for the first time within the end of this year.
Therefore this first, blurry image, might really depict the ATD-X, a canted vertical tails radar-evading air superiority fighter with enhanced maneuverability, considered vital to counter the Chinese J-20 and Russian T-50 stealth jets in the Pacific.
Even if the white color scheme with a large red stripe does not seem too stealthy.
Image credit: Chinese Internet
My thought this was someting more basic mainly a technology demonstrator or some sort of advanced trainer. On first glance I thought this could be some sort of development along the lines of the J-12. It could legitimately be japans next fighter or it could be nothing at all. The image res is very low and if we had a nice clear pic (no fault of the cool people at the avationist) it would make speculating a little easier.
Well, it may be low res, but the vertical tails match those of the ATD-X scale models, so it would be a good guess. As far as I know, nothing else the Japanese have, have such tails.
It could still be a model, for a show of some sort.
It is the long-lost MiG-28 once flown by navy pilot for the movie ‘Top Gun’ starring the famous actor Tom Cruise.
It looks like a miniature F-22.