Mitsubishi Electric wins USAF F-15 radar antenna repair deal

Japan Air Self-Defense Force
A rendering of an upgraded Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15JSI loaded with air-to-air missiles and a single air-to-surface glide weapon on the centreline weapon pylon.

Japanese commercial and defence prime Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced on 28 June that it has signed a pilot contract with Raytheon, a subsidiary of RTX, to repair transmitters used in APG-63 (V)1 F-15 fighter radars operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and its allied forces.

According to the company, Raytheon will validate Mitsubishi Electric’s repair capabilities with the aim of eventually contracting the Japanese company for such services in the future.

Mitsubishi Electric has built a track record of producing and repairing the AN/APG-63 (V)1 radar under a Manufacturing License Agreement (MLA) earlier signed with Raytheon and has served the F-15 aircraft operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) since 2004.

Besides its experience, Mitsubishi Electric is also leveraging on its cooperation with the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) as well its Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) and the JASDF to support its bid to support the USAF and allied F-15 fleets.

“This will be the first time for Mitsubishi Electric to repair US government military equipment,” said the company in a statement.

“If a more permanent contract is eventually realised, Mitsubishi Electric expects to take advantage of the manufacturing and repair systems it has established under contract with the JMOD and the JASDF,” it added.

The JASDF operates a fleet of single-seat F-15J and twin-seat F-15DJ aircraft licensed-manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). A sizeable number of these aircraft are expected to be upgraded with a new radar and avionics systems such as the Raytheon AN/APG-82(V)1 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the Honeywell Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCP II) mission computer, and the BAE Systems AN/ ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS). Other enhancements include new aircraft radios and anti-spoofing GPS systems.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 30 December 2022 that it has awarded Boeing a US$471.3 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract to launch the upgrade programme, known as the F-15 Japan Super Interceptor (JSI), for the JASDF.

According the DoD, the deal provisions for the design and development of an integrated suite of aircraft systems to support modification of the JASDF’s F-15J aircraft and the development, test, and delivery of four weapon system trainers. Work will be performed by Boeing in St Louis, Missouri and is expected to be completed by 31 December 2028.

MHI was earlier selected to be the prime contractor for the Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) portion of the deal, with Boeing being a subcontractor in supporting integration of the FMS and DCS elements.

by Jr Ng