Boeing and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have signed an agreement to support upgrades to Japan’s F-15J fleet, the companies announced on 28 July.
The contract is part of a larger $4.5 billion (€3.8 billion) modernisation programme announced by the US government last October. The upgrades will introduce state-of-the-art EW and weapons systems, while an all-new advanced cockpit system, running on the world’s most advanced mission computer, will deliver enhanced situational awareness. 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 defence arena since the 1950s. MHI license-manufactured the current Japanese F-15J fleet of over 200 aircraft between 1980-2000 and will serve as prime contractor for the upgrade. Sojitz Corporation, a trading company that works with Boeing’s team in Japan, will support the 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,” commented Boeing Japan President, Will Shaffer.
The contract lays the foundation of the modernisation programme, under which MHI will develop the detailed modification plan for the aircraft and prepare the facilities and workforce for the induction and upgrade of up to 98 aircraft, beginning in 2022.