|FIGHTER-BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Japan / Mitsubishi|
Japan's first indigenous combat aircraft to be produced after the end of World War II, the F-1 originated from a 1972 decision to develop a single-seat close air support fighter with secondary air-air capability from the Mitsubishi T-2 supersonic trainer. The overall performance of the latter was such that virtually no aerodynamic modifications had to be made, the principal change from the T-2 to the F-1 being the fairing over of the rear cockpit without changing the contours. The two prototypes of the F-1, both of which flew for the first time in June 1975, were modified T-2s with weapons systems equipment and test instrumentation in the rear cockpits. Powered by two 3207kg with afterburning Ishikawajima-Harima TF40-IHI-801A (licence-built Rolls -Royce/Turbomeca Adour) turbofans, the F-1 was armed with a single 20mm JM61 multi-barrel cannon in the lower front fuselage and had provision for up to 2721kg of bombs or rockets on the fuselage centreline and four wing hardpoints. Normal armament comprised two ASM-1 air-to-surface missiles and two or four AIM-9 Sidewinder AAMs. The Air Self-Defence Force purchased 77 F-1s, 70 of these being retrofitted during 1991-93 to enable them to remain in Air Self-Defence Force service until 1999-2000. The retrofit included installation of an advanced fire control system, provision of a stronger cockpit canopy and compatibility with the ASM-2 anti-shipping missile and XGCS homing bomb.