[TOKYO] Japan became the fourth nation to test fly its own stealth jet as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moves ahead with plans to strengthen the military.
The nation's first stealth plane took off from Nagoya airfield in central Japan around 8.50 am, Defense Ministry Program Manager Hirofumi Doi said by phone.
The flight is scheduled to last about 90 minutes and land in Gifu Air Base in Gifu Prefecture, according to documents from the defense ministry.
The plane, called the X-2, will subsequently be handed over to Japan's self-defense forces, who will start conducting their own tests. The plane is made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, with engines from IHI Corp, and cost about 40 billion yen (S$493.28 million) to develop.