Japan confirmed details of the f-15 upgrade at a cost of more than 600 billion yen, but could not hide the fate of the replacement

2022-07-09 0 By

On February 18, Japan officially confirmed details of the long-planned f-15J upgrade, Kyodo news reported.According to Japanese media, Japan has confirmed that it will upgrade 68 f-15J fighter jets previously produced by Mitsubishi Military Corporation to improve their radar, electronic warfare, weapons delivery and overall combat capabilities.In early February, Japan’s Defense Ministry released a plan to upgrade and maintain f-15 fighter jets, which the ministry’s budget office estimated would cost 646.5 billion yen ($5.62 billion) by 2024.A Japanese defense ministry official told Defense News that the jets to be upgraded are all previously upgraded single-seat F-15J, or F-15MJ fighters.The F-15J is a variant of the U.S. F-15 for Japanese use. The Japanese version of the F-15 is mainly divided into the single-seat F-15J and the two-seat F-15DJ.The F-15J /DJ is manufactured in Japan, but the main technology and key components are supplied by the United States.According to the data, the F-15J /DJ can fly at Mach 2.5 at high altitude and has the same combat radius as the F-15, which is 1,965 km.In terms of engine power, pratt & Whitney F110 turbofan engines are used, but a slight difference is that the F110 turbofan engines used in F-15J /DJ fighter jets are jointly produced by Pratt & Whitney and Ishikawa Shimashima Bomo Heavy Industry Company.The F-15J /DJ currently carries a 20mm M61 Vulcan gun with 940 rounds of ammunition, AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile, AIM-9 Sidewalder short-range air-to-air missile, Type 90 air-to-air missile, Type 99 air-to-air missile and AAM-5 air-to-air missile developed by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.At the same time, it can also carry MK-82 bombs, CBU-87 cluster bombs, etc., can be called the Japanese version of the “Fourth generation of American aircraft.”In December 1977, the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force decided to purchase the NEWLY produced F-15 fighter aircraft from the United States as Japan’s future main fighter aircraft.At the time, Japan had planned to buy more than 200 f-15s, and the purchase made Japan the largest customer of F-15s overseas.Because of the large volume and high price, the United States allowed Japan to produce its own F-15s, making Japan the only other country to produce f-15s.At that time, Japan produced 165 single-seat F-15J and 48 two-seat F-15DJ.According to the idea of the JSDF at that time, the two-seater F-15DJ could not only fly combat missions but also train new pilots, which was an important reason for the JSDF to insist on developing the two-seater version.Beginning in 1981, these aircraft entered the Service of Japan Air self Defense Force successively.After 30 years of service, the JSDF currently has 161 F-15J and 45 F-15DJ fighters.However, Japan has previously spent heavily to upgrade most f-15J avionics, so the current F-15J is divided into upgraded F-15MJ and unupgraded F-15J.In 2019, the Japanese Defense Ministry once again unveiled plans to upgrade the F-15 as it continues to age.According to the original plan, Japan will modernize its 98 previously upgraded F-15MJ jets again, at an estimated cost of $4.5 billion.However, the Japanese Defense Ministry has decided to modernize its fleet of 68 f-15MJ fighter jets after a number of f-15MJ fighter jets failed to meet upgrade standards and Japan’s defense ministry plans to reduce upgrade costs in order to spend more on advanced F-35 fighter jets.Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 Joint air-to-ground missile will be fitted to the F-15MJ, in addition to the modifications currently announced by Japan’s Defense Ministry.Raytheon’s APG-82(V) active Electronically scanned Array radar, the ALQ-239 digital electronic warfare system on board the F-35, and new avionics will also be added.As for the remaining F-15J and the two-seat F-15DJ, a Japanese Defense ministry official said in an interview that internal discussions are still under way, but gradual retirement is more likely.Meanwhile, Japanese defense ministry officials said the f-15s, which are likely to be retired, will be replaced by F-35s.Currently, Japan plans to eventually service 157 F-35s, including 105 F-35As and 42 F-35Bs.But while Japan has finalized plans to replace the F-15J with the F-35 as the main air force of the future, the f-35 is still controversial in Japan due to its frequent accidents.Japan’s opposition Constitutional Democratic Party has said it hopes the government will be cautious about the F-35 and extend the service life of the F-15.But some LIB Dem MPS argue that it would be better to buy more F-35s than to upgrade them at a high cost.In any case, the F-15 is likely to be replaced by the F-35, but the frequent failure of the F-35 will also cause Japan more headaches in the future.