Japan has been approved by the US State Department to upgrade 98 of its Boeing/Mitsubishi F-15J Eagle fighters to a new ‘Japanese Super Interceptor’ configuration.
The approval of the project, valued at US$4.5bn (JPY489bn) will see 98 F-15Js receive new AN/APG-82(v)1 AESA radars, advanced display core processor (ADCP II) mission system computers, AN/ALQ-239 digital electronic warfare systems (DEWS), and likely structural refurbishments.
Most of the work will be conducted by Mitsubishi heavy Industries in Japan where the bulk of the JASDF fleet was manufactured, with Boeing acting in a prime contractor role through a direct commercial sale.
A US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notification states, ‘This proposed sale will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and US personnel stationed there. Modernized F-15J assets will better enable Japan to respond to airborne threats and defend its airspace.’
Japan acquired a total of 203 F-15J/DJs, with the first making its maiden flight in 1981. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the fleet underwent an upgrade with digital engine controls and improved ECM, and there have been several stop-start efforts throughout the 2000s to try to conduct further upgrade programs, with limited success.