MHI, Boeing sign DCS agreement to upgrade Japanese F-15J fleet

by Gareth Jennings

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Boeing have signed a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) agreement to support upgrades to Japan’s fleet of F-15J Eagle combat aircraft.

An artist’s impression of the JSI configuration for Japan’s fleet of upgraded F-15J Eagle fighters. (Boeing)

An artist’s impression of the JSI configuration for Japan’s fleet of upgraded F-15J Eagle fighters. (Boeing)

The DCS agreement, announced by Boeing on 28 July, lays the foundation for a wider USD4.5 billion modernisation programme for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-15J fleet into the Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration that was disclosed by the US government in October 2019.

“MHI produced under license the current Japanese 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,” Boeing said, adding that it will provide MHI with retrofit drawings, ground support equipment and technical publications for the upgrade of the first two F-15J aircraft to the JSI configuration. MHI will develop the detailed modification plan for the jets and prepare the facilities and workforce for the induction and upgrade of up to 98 aircraft beginning in 2022.

MHI will serve as the prime contractor for the DCS-portion of the upgrade, while Boeing will serve as the prime contractor for the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) portion. Contracts for both portions are now expected to follow.

Under the terms of the upgrade, the licence-built Eagles are to be retrofitted with a series of mission and flight system enhancements. “The upgrades will introduce state-of-the-art electronic warfare (EW) [systems] and weapons. An all-new advanced cockpit system, running on the world’s most advanced mission computer, will deliver pilots enhanced situational awareness,” the announcement revealed.

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Boeing have signed a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) agreement to...

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