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Japan F-2A 6th Sqn. 8th AW., JASDF, Tsuiki A.B. "Air Combat Meet 2009"
General Background
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 Aircraft
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force is the aviation branch of the Japan Self-Defense Force. The JASDF is tasked with the defense of Japanese airspace that is divided into 4 sectors or regions. The Western Air Defense Force regional headquarters are located in Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture. The WADF is comprised of the 5th AW located at Nyutabaru AB, 8th AW located at Tsuiki AB, Western Aircraft Control & Warning Wing and the 2nd Air Defense Missile Group. The 8th Air Wing is comprised of the 6th Squadron that is equipped with F-2 aircraft and 304th Squadron flying F-15. Tsuiki AB is also home to the 2nd Air Defense Missile Group. From May 26 - 29, 2009 the JASDF Air Command held their war technique competition, very similar to “Tiger Meets”. It is various teams competing in aircraft against aircraft mock dog fights and attacks on ground targets to determine the proficiency of the pilot and aircraft. In 2009 3 F-2’s from Tsuiki AB attended the meet that took place near Shikoku Island. At the closing of the competition they determine the best pilot and best team.
Specifications :
F-2A Single-seat Multi-role fighter
F-2B Two-seat training version, fully combat capable
Powerplant: General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofan
Max 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)
Height: 15 ft 5 in (4.69 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
Wing Area: 375 ft² (34.84 m²)
Empty Weight: 21,000 lb (9,527 kg)
Loaded: 33,000 lb (15,000 kg)
Max Takeoff: 48,700 lb (22,100 kg)
Armament: 20 mm JM61A1 cannon
Capable of carrying up to 17,820 lb (8,085 kg) weapon load on 11 hard points.
Possible Weapons: 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.