The negotiations were long and difficult, but they ended up being successful, since Tokyo has just announced the signing of a contract worth 646,5 Tr de Yen, i.e. €5,6 billion, to modernize 68 of the approximately 200 F-15Js still in service with the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. The fate of the 36 remaining potentially modernizable two-seater F-15DJs has not yet been decided, while around a hundred of the oldest F-15s will be withdrawn from service with the arrival of the F-35As ordered by Tokyo. two years ago. By 2035, Japan will therefore have a strong air force of 300 to 350 modern aircraft, with around a hundred modernized F-15Js and DJs, 146 F-35As and Bs, and around a hundred Mitsubishi F-2s, which will be gradually replaced by the next generation fighter from the FX program.
The modernization of the Japanese F-15J incorporates many equipment on board the new US Air Force F-15EX, such as the Raytheon AN/APG-82(v1) radar with an active AESA antenna, the BAe ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) self-protection and electronic warfare system, new on-board computers and embedded systems. In terms of armament, the F-15J will use the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM, anti-ship missile with a range of 370 km, giving the aircraft an important anti-ship strike potential. It is also likely to be able to implement the new AIM-260 Joint Air Tactical Missile, or JATM, designated successor to the AIM-120 AMRAAM, and announced to reach a range of over 150 km.
Long looted central Japanese Air Defense, the modernized F-15J will obviously evolve into a mission profile comparable to that of the F-15EX within the US Air Force, namely an air-to-air and air-to-surface combat platform complementary to the F-35, taking advantage above all of its very large payload capacity and its great autonomy, while operating at a greater distance from the combat zone. commitment so as not to expose oneself unnecessarily because of its low stealth. We can assume, in the long term, that it will evolve alongside autonomous aerial systems, such as combat drones and other loyal wingmen, the two-seater DJ version being particularly suitable for this type of mission.
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