The Mitsubishi X-2 fighter technology demonstrator is performing well in taxi trials, and is on track for a first flight in the next few weeks.

“The aircraft is performing well so far,” says Japan’s Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) in an email to Flightglobal. “We are proceeding with tests, performing very careful maintenance, and making some minor adjustments.”

Previously, the first flight had been planned for February.

The agency, however, declined to provide more details about the number of flights planned for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

Produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Nagoya, Japan, the X-2 (previously designated ATD-X) is designed to help Japan explore advanced fighter technologies such as stealth, thrust vectoring, advanced sensors, and datalinks. It will not be developed into an operational fighter aircraft, but rather help Tokyo gain know-how for future fighter programmes.

Powered by two IHI XF5-1 low-bypass engines, the aircraft small by fighter standards with a length of 14.2m (46.5ft) and a wingspan of 9.1m.