Japan has decided to proceed with the F-15JSI (Japan Super Interceptor) upgrade program by allocating funds for the program in next year’s budget.
The upgrade will be undertaken by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).
According to Alert 5 “NHK reports that the final price of the program is now agreed at $3.5 billion after negotiations with the Americans.
“Tokyo will drop the integration of the LRASM on the Japanese Eagle in order to reduce costs.
“The project run into a road block back in 2020 due to rising costs and Tokyo did not allocate money for the project in the fiscal 2020 budget nor did the Ministry of Defense seek money for the project in the fiscal 2021 budget. The upgrade was supposed to be completed in 2027.
“Along the way, Japan had to switch from buying the ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) to the new Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) instead.”
As we have previously reported, until now the renderings by Boeing (like that featured in this post) shown the jet carrying a JASSM or LRASM cruise missile on station 5 on the centerline. The aircraft is believed to be armed with the AAM-4 air-to-air missiles as well. The medium-range active radar homing is made by Mitsubishi.
Thanks to JASSM-ER standoff capabilities, Japan would be able to attack North Korea without approaching the country directly from the airspace over the Sea of Japan.
Boeing has partnered with MHI in the defense arena since the 1950s. MHI produced under license the current Japan F-15J fleet of over 200 aircraft between 1980 and 2000, and will serve as prime contractor for the upgrade. Sojitz Corporation, a trading company that works with Boeing’s team in Japan, will support this effort.
“These upgrades will deliver critical capability for national and collective self-defense, in which the F-15J plays a key role. At the same time, they will provide MHI and our partners in Japan’s aerospace defense industry with an opportunity to enhance their own extensive engineering capabilities,” Will Shaffer, Boeing Japan President, said last year.
Photo credit: Boeing
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