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US approves upgrade for Japanese Eagles

30 October 2019
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The JASDF has 156 F-15J fighters currently in service, 98 of which are to be upgraded to the JSI standard. Source: US Air Force

The United States has authorised an upgrade to Japan's fleet of Mitsubishi-Boeing F-15J Eagle fighter aircraft, with the State Department announcing its decision on 29 October.

As noted by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the approval covers upgrades to 98 of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's (JASDF's) 156 F-15J single-seat combat aircraft to the new Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration for an estimated cost of USD4.5 billion. The JASDF's 45 F-15DJ twin-seat operational trainers are not included in the proposed upgrade.

"This proposed sale will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and US personnel stationed there. Modernised F-15J assets will better enable Japan to respond to airborne threats and defend its airspace," the DSCA said.

According to the approval, the JSI standard includes the Raytheon AN/APG-82(V)1 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCP II) mission computer, and the AN/ ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) that feature in Boeing's latest Advanced Eagle configuration. It does not, however, include the Advanced Eagle's fly-by-wire controls, large area display (LAD) cockpit, or the two reactivated underwing weapons stations (increasing the number from nine to 11).

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