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Friday, April 22, 2016, 14:59

Japan's prototype stealth plane makes 1st flight

By Associated Press

Japan's prototype stealth plane makes 1st flight
The prototype of Japan's first stealth aircraft type X-2 flies over Kakamigahara city, Gifu prefecture, central Japan, April 22, 2016. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — Japan's first domestically manufactured stealth plane has made its first flight, making Japan one of only a handful of nations with airplane stealth capabilities.

The red-and-white prototype X-2 took off from Nagoya airport Friday and flew 25 minutes to an Air Self-Defense Force base in nearby Gifu Prefecture.

The X-2 is designed to test stealth technology that could be used in Japan's next-generation fighter jet.

The stealth plane, with a 14-meter-long fuselage and 9-meter-wingspan, comes with radar-resistant features, such as a canopy with stealth-enhancing coating.

It was developed by a consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at a cost of 39.4 billion yen (US$360 million), according to Japanese media reports.

Japan's prototype stealth plane makes 1st flight
The prototype of Japan's first stealth aircraft type X-2 takes off an airport in Toyoyama, Aichi prefecture, central Japan, April 22, 2016. (Kyodo News via AP)
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