The ASF-X Shinden II is a radical new forward-swept wing fighter aircraft produced by renowned Japanese aircraft manufacturer, Kyushu. It possesses an unusual design: When it reaches supersonic speeds, its wingtips fold downward and ruddevators fold inward to reduce drag, but all of its armaments except the cannon are external, making it easily detectable by radar.
In March, 2002, several unidentified aircraft penetrated Japanese airspace without authorization and failed to comply with several orders to identify themselves. Presumed hostile, the National Air Defense Command sent up a squadron to intercept and, if necessary, destroy them. However, the unidentified aircraft were able to slip past the interceptors and then proceed to attack Kojikawa Naval Base, all but eradicating the Northern Defense Fleet and causing major damage to the harbor facilities. The incident sparked a realization that a new fighter interceptor was needed to secure the national airspace from potential outside threats.
After a heated contest that lasted five years, Kyushu was proclaimed the winner. Immediately, contruction was begun. Two prototypes were built in 2008, and took off on their maiden flights in December of that year. After evaluating its capabilities and ironing out the bugs, full-scale production was commenced in 2010. The first twenty aircraft were delivered in 2012, and by 2015 two full squadrons were available. Thirty units were built with carrier operations in mind and equipped with arrestor and launch hooks.
In January, 2016, another flight of mystery aircraft penetrated Japanese airspace, once again failing to respond to identification orders. This time, however, the intruders were not so mysterious: After cross-checking what was in the direction of their approach vector, it was detemined that the silent intruders' point of origin was from somepace in the vicinity of Pyongyang, North Korea, a country harboring a deep-rooted animosity toward Japan for the inhumanities suffered in World War II.
Upon identifying the intruders as North Korean, the National Air Defense Command scrambled twelve of their new aircraft to intercept and destroy them. They engaged the enemy over Mount Fuji, where they visually identified the North Korean aircraft as 40-year-old MiG-21bis Fishbed's and Su-7s, neither of which was any sort of match for Japan's latest aircraft. All of the intruders were destroyed over and around Mount Fuji, and further incursions into Japanese airspace were stopped.
In April, 2019, civilian Flight 297 from Fairbanks to Tokyo sent a mayday to Tokyo International Airport saying that it had come under threat from several unidentified military aircraft. Japan responded with four Shinden II fighter interceptors, which found Flight 297 surrounded by six MiG-29A Fulcrum's and two Su-37 Terminator's trying to force the civilian transport to change course. The Japanese were able to force the renegade aircraft away after firing a few warning shots, and escorted the civilian flight to the airport.
The Shinden II is not purely fictional. The aging F-2A Viper Zero multirole version of the F-16C Fighting Falcon is behind considerably in just about ever aspect and due to be replaced. This time, however, the replacement will be home-grown. Its exitence was confirmed when Kyushu announced that it was developing the aircraft in 2005. It's expected to go through rigorous testing before being redesignated F-3 and entering service with the Japan Air Self Defense Force in 2019.
The Shinden II is capable of performing incredible aerobatics, from climbing at an unbelievable rate to executing turns at such speed that one would expect the pilot to be flattened by the G forces. It is one of the most capable fighter interceptors in existence.
- Dimensions (length, heigh, wingspan): 45'6"x14'2"x57'5"
- Maximum Speed (cruise, afterburner): 920 mph (418 kph, 766 knots); 1560 (3432 kph, 1300 knots)
- Maximum Range: 2100 miles (4620 km)
- Operational Ceiling: 65,200 feet (19,757 m)
- Turning Radius: 1800 feet (545 m)
- Powerplant: 2xOgasawa HJ66-T7-11 thrust-vectoring scramjets
- Weight (empty, loaded): 24,675 lbs (11,215 kg); 51,210 lbs (23,277 kg)
- Crew: 1
As a multirole aircraft, the Shinden II is capable of carrying a wide variety of weapons including but not limited to short, medium and long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, rockets and even a few experimental weapons.
- 1x General Electric M61A1 Vulcan 20mm cannon
- 2xAIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air heatseeker
- 6xAIM-7 Sparrow medium-range multitarget air-to-air radar-homing
- 4xAIM-120 AMRAAM long-range multitarget radar-homing
- 4xJLAU-3/A rapid-fire rocket pod
- 2xJRT-5/U3 ALFIRE long-range independent subnuclear
- According to the lore of upcoming Ace Combat Assault Horizon Master File ASF-X Shinden II (to be released in mid-March 2012), the ASF-X is the name of the aircaraft in development for JASDF's next generation of fighters. The aircraft will later be renamed as F-3 Shinden II once it officially enters military service in 2019.
- The aircraft's cockpit seems to be similar to the cockpit of the ADFX-01/02 Morgan.