Mitsubishi F-2B 2 seater – 21st Hikotai, JASDF, Return to Matsushima AB, Japan 2016
1 in stock
1 in stock
Hobby Master 1/72 scale HA2714: Mitsubishi F-2B #33-8116 of the 21st Hikotai, JASDF, Return to Matsushima AB, Japan, March 2016
Length 8.5 inches Wingspan 6.25 inches
On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9 earthquake rocked Northeastern Japan and created a gigantic tsunami (tidal wave) that devastated the entire area. As the water rushed over land it found its way onto the Matsushima AB destroying or damaging 18 F-2 jets. It wasn’t until March 2016 when the base was restored that F-2B 33-8116 wearing a special paint scheme made a commemorative flight at Matsushima to mark the return of the 21st Squadron. F-2B 33-8116 was the third F-2 to be restored after the tsunami.
Designed as a strike fighter for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the Mitsubishi F-2 was first flown on October 7, 1995. Manufactured with a 60/40 split between Japan and the US, the F-2 is a cooperative production effort between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin. Based on an enlarged version of the F-16 (known as the Agile Falcon), the F-2 replaced the aging Mitsubishi F-1. The Japanese ordered 94 F-2s between 2000 and 2008, and in July of 2010 ordered an additional 50. Armed with ASM-1 and ASM-2 anti-ship missiles, this capable aircraft can also carry 500lb bombs and drop tanks with a 4,400kg fuel capacity.
It might look like an F-16 but the Mitsubishi F-2 is a completely new fighter. The general shape may say F-16 and a few things that the F-2 and the F-16 have common are the engine, landing gear, air intake door and the 20 mm gun. But the F-2 has a longer and wider nose to accommodate phased-array radar with 25% larger wing. It is made from a composite material to reduce weight and radar signature, a larger tail plane and larger air intake. The pilot canopy is a stronger three-piece construction. The F-2 is equipped with a drogue chute just like the NATO version of the F-16. The single seat fighter is the F-2A while the two seat version (F-2B) is a trainer that is fully combat capable.