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Boeing and MHI to upgrade Japan’s F-15J fleet

26 Comments

Boeing and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have signed an agreement to support upgrades to Japan’s F-15J fleet.

The contract is part of a larger $4.5 billion modernization program, announced by the U.S. Government in October 2019.

The upgrades will introduce state-of-the-art electronic warfare and weapons, with an all-new advanced cockpit system delivering pilots with enhanced situational awareness.

Under the agreement, Boeing will provide MHI with retrofit drawings, ground support equipment and technical publications for the upgrade of the first two F-15J aircraft to the Japan Super Interceptor configuration.

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 Corp, a trading company that works with Boeing’s team in Japan, will support this effort.

“Through this agreement, Boeing is honored to further our long-standing tradition of support for Japan’s Ministry of Defense, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and MHI,” said Boeing Japan President Will Shaffer. “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.”

This DCS contract lays the foundation of the modernization program. 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.

© Asia Travel Tips

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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A look forward to seeing the new F-15 over Senkaku.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The biggest problem is not having stealth. Neighbors like Russia and China will track this upgraded F15J with ease and shoot them down.

Japan should speed up work on the future F3 program.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Beautiful aircraft and so powerful. Go MHI and Boeing!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope the upgrade is based on the Silent Eagle version.

When combined with F-35 which will act as a ‘spotter’, these Silent Eagles become like a fast truck that can carry 20+ missiles

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"When combined with F-35 which will act as a ‘spotter’, these Silent Eagles become like a fast truck that can carry 20+ missiles"

Japan's F-15 fleet are basically F-15Cs and the two seaters are Ds. The Silent Eagle is built on the larger and heavier F-15E airframe (36,741kg fully loaded for F-15E vs 30,845 for the F-15J) so the Japanese F-15s can never be converted into Silent Eagles. Silent Eagles also have different vertical stabilizers angled outward. In any event the Silent Eagle only has some frontal L-O but the intakes allow too much of the compressor to be detected on an enemy radar to have the kind of low RCS that the F-22 and F-35 has. Silent Eagles RCS is optimized to reduce reflection of X-band air to air radars and offers little or no protection against ground based radars.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

MHI or Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have they built anything that wasnt rusty at the time of manufacture, just look at any mitsubishi, pajero, lancer, galant, delica or other rust bucket with three diamonds on the grille.

Utter garbage.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"MHI or Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have they built anything that wasnt rusty at the time of manufacture, just look at any mitsubishi, pajero, lancer, galant, delica or other rust bucket with three diamonds on the grille."

Of course; the Soryu's rustiness can be seen from space, enne?

"Utter garbage."

Indeed; your comment.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yer rite; Mitsubishi is utter garbage.

Wonder how the Kounotori 9 (HTV-9) keeps on reaching the ISS, such is the weight of rust it carries.

Some "expertise" on this comment(s) section....

God help us all.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Parity with the Swiss is all that is required for so-called self-defense. At least Mitsubishi doesn't design aircraft that burst into flames on the runway awaiting take-off or simply fall out of the sky. The much heralded F-35. Sub-optimal and expensive. A computer that happens to fly. Costing approximately 5,000,000 yen an hour to fly. Its lightning-protection system was deficient. The jet’s cutting-edge helmet display, which melds imagery from multiple cameras and sensors into a single picture, didn’t work properly, with pilots experiencing a jittery, delayed video feed.   The plane’s ejection seat could cause serious neck injuries to lightweight pilots, prompting the Air Force to ban pilots under 136 pounds from flight operations.  13 Category 1 deficiencies are still on the books. So. You have an aircraft that is close to obsolete, the F-15, that is actually superior to the flying albatross that was purchased in bulk. Mitsubishi can certainly hold its own with Boeing, think the 737. And Lockheed-Martin, which has an interesting history in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Chicoms only viable aircraft carrier would easily be detected in Japanese waters. And destroyed. Plus their ski-lift runway means only half loaded attack aircraft.

The all-weather air superiority supersonic F15J could be upgraded to the new X version coming on line soon.

This also means that the Chicom PLA airforce must leave from the mainland & air-to-air refuel, an easy target for Japanese F35’s.

Time for Japan & Australia to nuke up, just to be sure.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How much ???,money is this going to cost us.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Hatman1793

The Chicoms only viable aircraft carrier would easily be detected in Japanese waters. 

Why would the PLAN send its aircraft carrier near the Diaoyu Islands? All flight operations can be made from air bases in Fujian province. No need for a carrier op. Chinese aren't dumb.

The all-weather air superiority supersonic F15J could be upgraded to the new X version coming on line soon.

You don't understand the Chinese thinking then.

Chinese are trying to wear down JASDF's fighter fleet simply by making sortie flights everyday, forcing JASDF to send out F-15s(F-35s cannot be used for interception mission due to lack of range and endurance) and leaving no jets to fly in 10 years. While China can simply order new replacement jets from its factories, Japan cannot, all fighter purchases involve lengthy diplomatic negotiations and huge budget that Japan cannot afford.

In time, all JASDF jets are grounded and PLAAF then can fly over the Diaoyu Islands unopposed.

@TARA TAN KITAOKIA

How much ???,money is this going to cost us.

$4.5 billion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Chinese aren't dumb."

Obviously someone is, as he/she thinks all Japanese are; (well lots of JT habitué subscribe to this ridiculous notion anyway).

"Dumb" Japanese have been around for 4 thousand years as a Nation; they've got the world's oldest National Anthem and all. Most importantly, have smacked China in every single war(s) that mattered.

Don't tell me China beat them in WWII. PLEASE.

All they need is the political will to tweak things around a bit; then China (and her supporters) will be singing a different tune.

Also, you need to redo your Economics:

China's GDP is large than Japan's (evident)

However,

China is much POORER than Japan. Fact.

Fact corroborated by every single institution that matters; IMF, WB, Asian Bank, ECB, probably the Raiffeisen Gammesfeld eG cooperative bank CEO's thinks that too. Fact evidenced by the fact Chinese rabid supporters prefer to live outside of China; some live in Japan and post here daily criticising it left, right and centre.

Don't know where you're getting this idea that China's budgetary resources are endless but Japan is living in a shoestring.

It must be the old, "oh, but they have the world's biggest debt", thingy.

China's foreign debt is much bigger; start by analysing how much China owes to Japan, not the other way round.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Whilst China's nebulous accounting practices make it virtually impossible to gauge accurately how much actual defence spending goes on:

"In 2002, the DoD reported that China’s actual defense spending may have been upwards of four times larger than its officially announced budget. In comparison, the 2019 estimate from SIPRI pegs China’s nominal defense spending at $261 billion – 1.5 times larger than the official figure."

"https://chinapower.csis.org/military-spending/#:~:text=In%20terms%20of%20the%20broader,those%20in%20the%20Middle%20East)."

Conversely, Japan's 1% expenditure is well documented; even the Burkinabe have access to Japan's actual/real military expenditure figures; a mere 1% of GDP.

Enough to sustain a navy capable of sending China back to the 1980's economy and Mao's suits.

Just imagine if Japan was to increase that to 2%!

But according to your logic they can't, as they're living on a shoestring.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Peeping_Tom

China is much POORER than Japan. Fact.

And what does that have to do with China's ability to wage war against Japan? The Soviet Union was poorer than the US but was an equal to the US in its ability to wage wars. Ditto for China, China's ability to wage war against Japan is several times greater than Japan's ability to wage war against China.

this idea that China's budgetary resources are endless but Japan is living in a shoestring.

Simple. China has no pension program and universal healthcare to pay for, leaving trillions of dollars per year to pay for stuff like high speed rail, biggest airports, and military hardware.

Compare this to Japan drowning on pension and universal healthcare cost right now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

" At least Mitsubishi doesn't design aircraft that burst into flames on the runway awaiting take-off or

From somebody who never flew airplanes. I was a US Navy pilot. The F-35 pilot failed to heed the wind limitations on start up. Any kind of wind blowing up a jet exhaust on start up, as was the case with that F-35, will cause a fire just like that. I've seen it happen. In the NATOPS or equivalent operators manual there will be a chart showing the wind limits in each direction of the aircraft for start up. A pilot is supposed to know the current weather before walking out to the aircraft and if the winds are too high, either have the aircraft respotted so the wind is on the nose or if the winds are still too high, delay the mission till the winds come down within limits or scrub the mission entirely.

And oh, by the way, the F-35 is the first combat jet to pass a fleet total of 100,000 flight hours without a mishap. The instance of the Japanese F-35 loss was due to the pilot suffering spatial disorientation. Been there, done that during flight school but since I was with an instructor the instructor took the controls. Inner ears can do funny things to you when you are flying on instruments. Learning to overcome what your inner ear is telling you and believe the instruments is tough. Instrument flying is tough. The fellow flying Kobe Bryant got himself into some unplanned fog, lost spatial orientation and flew the helicopter into the ground at full speed. This was an experienced pilot in very well regarded Sikorsky helicopter with an excellent safety record world wide. Pilot error is the cause of nearly all aircraft mishaps. Systems failures that lead to crashes are pretty rare now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Chinese rabid supporters prefer to live outside of China; some live in Japan and post here daily criticising it left, right and centre."

Well, websites like Japan Today are simply not available in China. China doesn't allow any websites to operate in China unless they receive permission from the Ministry of State Security and obtaining that requires the website to allow the MSS access to their website. The MSS routinely blocks websites from abroad they cannot control. Google and Facebook for example are not available in China. If you have a VPN you can get around this but the Chinese are constantly shutting down VPNs.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Simple. China has no pension program and universal healthcare to pay for, leaving trillions of dollars per year to pay for stuff like high speed rail, biggest airports, and military hardware."

Not entirely true. They have pensions and a degree of state paid health care. I have an elderly relative in Shanghai who receives both. However Japan does not have an expensive state security apparatus sucking up money and resources from the economy. That is often what ends up destroying dictatorships. The more rigid and controlling the dictator, the greater the popular dissent and to quash the dissent such governments spend huge amounts of their national wealth building up a repressive security apparatus. Even today some economist and other analysts estimate China spends more on internal security than on their military. That represents a major drag on their economy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Chinese are trying to wear down JASDF's fighter fleet simply by making sortie flights everyday, forcing JASDF to send out F-15s"

The Chinese jets are wearing down too. Their jet engines have to be removed and overhauled much more often than western jet engines and their airframes are not designed to last as many flight hours as US airframes are. MiG 29 engines have a stated time between overhaul of 400 hours (compared to 1500 hours for most US military afterburning turbofan engines) but in actual use (West German and US Navy service) 75% of the engines failed before hitting 400 hours. Their airframes only last 1100 hours compared to the 10,000 to 20,000 hours typical of US tactical jet airframes. Chinese aircraft are not much better in that regard than their Russian counterparts, especially those using Russian engines.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

China has no pension program and universal healthcare to pay for, leaving trillions of dollars per year to pay for stuff like high speed rail, biggest airports, and military hardware.

Utter nonsense. Chinese govt,, like most other major economies, spends its money into existence. If it pays for domestic infrastructure or defense in yuan, then it will always have the yuan for infrastructure since the Chinese govt is the sole issuer of that currency.

Same goes for pensions. If pensioners need to be paid, then someone in the govt pushes a button and their bank account is credited with instantly created in yuan. No borrowing involved.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

"Chinese are trying to wear down JASDF's fighter fleet simply by making sortie flights everyday, forcing JASDF to send out F-15s"

Of course.

I nearly forgot that China's aircraft don't wear down; only the Japanese and US's ones. Silly me.

Also, that in any conflict only Japan and the US's economies are going to suffer; China's dependence on cheap exports, foreign capital (most of which is Japanese) and foreign technology (Japanese and American, vice-versa if that pleases you), none of this will affect China. Millions of unemployed Chinese, who actually live on $3.45 hour won't be affected at all.

There won't be any food shortages in China, even though they are not self-sufficient.

What oil supply issues?

You've nailed it with your in-depth analysis of the whole situation.

One in which China will devastate the opposition without barely a scratch.

And bear in mind: Japan spends 1% ONLY on defence. See what 1% does to its navy.

Currently, only the US of A is capable of taking them on a naval confrontation and win "comfortably".

Check Japan's geography and the advantages it gives them in any maritime scrap with China.

Think man, think, before typing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Whatever upgrades they do to the F-15Js, they better upgrade their cyber-security first. You can bet the ccp's cyber parasites will try to leech off as much as they can from Japanese & Boeing's computer networks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Desert Tortoise

They have pensions and a degree of state paid health care.

Those benefits are tied to trade unions, not to central government. China has no nationwide pension and health benefits.

The Chinese jets are wearing down too.

Yea, but Chinese military can simply order their replacement jets by simply picking up the phone. This isn't true for Japan. Buying the replacement jet is a diplomatic process even if Japan had the money, which isn't true anymore.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"since the Chinese govt is the sole issuer of that currency."

This is a common misconception about the origins of money that I wish to correct. Nearly all new money comes from commercial lending by banks, not from a government as so many believe. When a bank makes a loan it is almost entirely money out of thin air. Banks have a reserve requirement. In the US is is 4% of outstanding loans. That means commercial banks must have cash on deposit in a Federal Reserve Bank equal to 4% of their outstanding loan portfolio. Every nation has a similar arrangement between their commercial banks and the nation's central bank. What that means for a bank is that when they issue a loan of $1, they only have to have 4 cents on hand to back the loan (and if they don't they can borrow from the central bank at a low interest rate called the "Discount Rate"). The remaining 96 cents of that $1 loan is money out of thin air. The bank enters the amount of the loan on their ledger and it is cash. Governments actually have limited means to control loans. They can raise the discount rate and in extreme cases increase the reserve requirement to curtail lending if inflation is growing too fast.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Those benefits are tied to trade unions, not to central government. China has no nationwide pension and health benefits."

Nope. My mother in law was run out of the classroom by the Red Guards. She taught elementary school once upon a time until she was banished forever from the classroom by the CCP. Her family home in the old French Concession of Shanghai was taken from them and given to a party member to live in (that party members family still lives there). She was banished to the country side to live in poverty, which is how my wife grew up. They were all eventually allowed to move back to Shanghai but she was old and never worked after her return. She get's a small pension from the Shanghai city government. They cover her medical bills too but the reimbursements take a while.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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