The US State Department has approved Japan’s request for upgrades for its F-15 Eagle aircraft.
the US Department of State approved a possible sale of a modernisation package for 98 F-15J fighter aircraft valued at an estimated $4.5 billion. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified US lawmakers of the possible sale.
The State Department said in the contract notification:
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan for the upgrade of up to ninety-eight (98) F-15J aircraft to a Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration for an estimated cost of $4.5 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Government of Japan has requested the upgrade of up to ninety-eight (98) F-15J aircraft to a Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration consisting of up to one hundred three (103) APG-82(v)1 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar (includes 5 spares); one hundred sixteen (116) Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCP II) Mission System Computer (includes 18 spares); and one hundred one (101) ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) (includes 3 spares). Also included are Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) with software, training and support; Selective Availability Anti-spoofing Module (SAASM); ARC-210 radio, aircraft and munition integration and test support; ground training devices (including flight and maintenance simulators); support and test equipment; software delivery and support; spare and repair parts; communications equipment; facilities and construction support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; studies and surveys; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program cost is $4.5 billion.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability, and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. It is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability.
This proposed sale will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there. Modernized F-15J assets will better enable Japan to respond to airborne threats and defend its airspace. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces.”
The approval of the possible sale to Japan comes nearly two months after the Japanese Ministry of Defense requested a record $50 billion defense budget for the 2020 fiscal year — a 1.2 percent rise over the 2019 fiscal year.
Japan has sought to strengthen its indigenous capabilities in light of growing regional challenges from North Korea and China. The Air Self-Defense Force’s F-15J fighters regularly scramble to intercept military aircraft intruding Japan’s air defense identification zone from China and Russia.