|A Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15DJ in flight.|
|Manufacturer||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|First flight||4 June 1980|
|Introduction||7 December 1981|
|Primary user||Japan Air Self Defense Force|
|Developed from||McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle|
The Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather interceptor fighter based on the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle in use by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The F-15J was produced under license by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The subsequent F-15DJ and F-15J Kai variants were also produced. Japan is the largest customer of the F-15 Eagle outside the United States. In addition to combat, F-15DJ roles include training. The F-15J Kai is a modernized version of the F-15J.
In June–July 1975, the Japan Defense Agency (JDA, now Ministry of Defense) examined the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle as one of the 13 candidates for the replacement fighter of the F-104J/DJ Starfighter and F-4EJ Phantom II. A single-seat F-15C and a twin-seat F-15D were evaluated at Edwards AFB, and by December that year, the F-15 was announced the winner, with the government intending to purchase 187 F-15J/DJs. By April 1978, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was designated as the primary contractor and licensing for the F-15C/D was achieved.
After congressional review, the Department of Defense (DoD) withheld the aircraft's electronic warfare and engine systems from the licensing. Initially, the aircraft were produced in the U.S. and exported to Japan. This initial export production contributed to aircraft development under the defense industry of Japan while facilitating base production of aircraft, achieving the goal of producing a fighter to Japan's requirements.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force acquired 203 F-15Js and 20 F-15DJs, of which 2 F-15Js and 12 F-15DJs were built by McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, Missouri. Dubbed the "Peace Eagle" by the DoD FMS program, the first F-15J built in St. Louis was delivered to the United States Air Force for its first flight on 4 June 1980, and a subsequent cruise on 15 July to Japan. Additionally, 8 F-15Js were manufactured in large components and shipped to Japan for final assembly by Komaki of Mitsubishi, the first of these making its maiden flight on 26 August 1981 (serial number 12–8803). Companies divided the remainder share and produced it under license from 1981, with final assembly of aircraft performed by Mitsubishi.
In 1980, the Japanese government applied for access to advanced technology through the U.S.-Japan Forum (S&TF) but was rejected. The JDA and the DoD held an annual meeting about relaxation of the regulation after a program was started. In these meetings, the DoD official gave an answer that permitted access to initially prohibited technology of various types including composite material.
In the latter period of 1981, the first F-15J/DJ aircraft were sent to the 202 Squadron, which was reorganized as an Eagle FTU and renamed the 23 Flying Training Squadron at Nyutabaru base on 21 December 1982. The JASDF developed a plan to form the first squadron after the notorious KAL007 shooting down by a Soviet Su-15 on 1 September 1983. In March 1984, new F-15Js began replacing the 203 Squadron's F-104Js at Chitose base, located across the La Pérouse Strait from the Soviet fighter base on Sakhalin Island.
F-15J/DJs are identical to F-15C/Ds aside from ECM, radar warning system, and nuclear equipment. The AN/ALQ-135 Internal Countermeasures System is replaced by indigenous J/ALQ-8 and the AN/ALR-56 Radar Warning Receiver is replaced by J/APR-4. The engine is the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan, which IHI Corporation produced under license. Some are still characterized by Inertial Measurement unit, an old type of the Inertial Navigation unit. All F-15J/DJs has two old UHF radios, which are also VHF capable.
JASDF pilots does not use much Japanese, but is characterized by an indigenous Tactical Electronic Warfare System suite because the non-Japanese is effective. The F-15J is characterized by an indigenous data link, but they do not support Link 16 FDL mounted by USAF F-15Cs. It works as a basic bidirectional link with the Japanese ground-controlled intercept network, and it is limited because it is not a true network.
Mitsubishi received F-15C/Ds MSIP and began with 1987 on F-15J/DJs to produce. Improvements included an uprated central computer, engines, Armament control set and added J/APQ-1 countermeasure set. Even the JASDF F-15s which already went into service caught the Japanese MSIP at the time of repair (IRAN). F-15J MSIPs were replaced from 1992 to F100-PW-220 (Also IHI-220 as); from 1996 to F100-PW-220E (Also IHI-220E as) was replaced. The difference in the appearance includes J/ALQ-8 ICS which an ICS antenna mounted under the intake. The J/APQ-4 RWR antenna position of F-15J/DJs is the same as F-15C/Ds, but the lens of F-15J/DJ MSIPs are black for white F-15C/Ds.
Improvement in MTDP 
F-15Js have been equipped with the Japanese-built AAM-3 missile, an improved Sidewinder follow-on with distinctive "barbed" forward fins. Japan has been trying to obtain an Advanced fighter (F-22 Raptor) to replace the F-15, but the search has been troublesome, and so the F-15J fleet is now being generally upgraded to keep the aircraft in fighting trim. In 28 July 2003, examination F-15J of the modernization did first flight (#928), and it was delivered to the JASDF Air Development Test Wing on 21 October 2003.
In 10 December 2004, the Japanese Government approved a Mid-Term Defense Program (MTDP) to perform modernization of F-15J MSIPs in five years by the cause of a new National Defense Program Guidelines. It appears the upgrade is being implemented in phases, but ultimately the refits will include a new ejection seat; replaced IHI-220E engines; more powerful processor; uprated electrical generation and cooling capabilities to support more avionics and the Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)1 radar. The APG-63(V)1 radar has been retrofitted to F-15Js by Mitsubishi Electric produced them under license from 1997. The Raytheon expects the programme will ultimately installing to 80 F-15Js.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) requested modernization and the reconnaissance deployment of F-15Js in June 2007, and it was a plan to improve certain F-15Js with synthetic aperture radar pods; these aircraft will replace RF-4 Phantom II currently in service.
In 17 December 2009, on the approved budget, the upgrade F-15J with Reconnaissance capacity plan disappeared after the Democratic Party arrived at the government by General Election in 2009, and they were shelved the acquisition of the new Reconnaissance aircraft and the new Cargo aircraft in the revised MTDP, and gave priority to improvement of the F-15J and the F-2. F-15Js was increased from 26 to 48, and MoD purchased the part of the modernization for 38 fighters, however, the budget for improvement for the modernization is unfinished. 48 F-15Js of those get a Link 16 datalink and helmet-mounted sight after getting an original MTDPs modernization. The new radar will support the AAM-4 missile, the Japanese answer to the AMRAAM, and the helmet-mounted sight will support the AAM-5 dogfighting missile, which will replace the AAM-3.
As for the new MTDP approved on 17 December of the next year, the modernization retrogressed to 16 F-15Js. The MoD reduced it and they submitted 10 F-15Js modernization plan and restrained it.
- Single-seat fighter version for the JASDF. 139 built under license in Japan by Mitsubishi 1981–97; two built in St. Louis.
- Two-seat training version for the JASDF. 12 built in St. Louis, and 25 built under license in Japan by Mitsubishi during 1981–97.
- F-15J Kai
- F-15Js that have been modernized for the JASDF. There is no official name for this particular variant but it has been referred to as the F-15 Kai (Kai standing for Modified) by the Japanese media. 
- Japan: Japan Air Self Defense Force had 157 F-15Js and 45 F-15DJs in use as of November 2008.
- 2nd Air Wing Chitose Air Base
- 201st Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 203rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 6th Air Wing Komatsu Air Base
- 303rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 7th Air Wing Hyakuri Air Base
- 305th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 8th Air Wing Tsuiki Air Base
- 304th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 83rd Air Group Naha Air Base
- 204th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 2nd Air Wing Chitose Air Base
Specifications (F-15J) 
- Crew: 1: pilot
- Length: 63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)
- Wingspan: 42 ft 10 in (13.05 m)
- Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.63 m)
- Wing area: 608 ft² (56.5 m²)
- Empty weight: 28,000 lb (12,700 kg)
- Loaded weight: 44,500 lb (20,200 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 68,000 lb (30,845 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney F100-100 or −220 afterburning turbofans
- Fuel capacity: 13,455 lb (6,100 kg) internal
- Maximum speed:
- High altitude: Mach 2.5+ (1,650+ mph, 2,660+ km/h)
- Low altitude: Mach 1.2 (900 mph, 1,450 km/h)
- Service ceiling: 65,000 ft (20,000 m)
- Rate of climb: >50,000 ft/min (254 m/s)
- Wing loading: 73.1 lb/ft² (358 kg/m²)
- Thrust/weight: 1.12 (−220)
- Guns: 1× 20 mm M61 Vulcan
- Hardpoints: t and provisions to carry combinations of:
See also 
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- Rininger 2009, p. 150.
- Davies and Dildy 2007, p. 152.
- Jenkins 1998, p. 38.
- Lorell, 1996. p.77-78
- "Boeing (Mitsubishi) F-15J Eagle (United States)". Jane's All the World's Aircraft. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Lorell, 1996. p.79
- Baugher, Joseph. "F-15J and F-15DJ for Japan". Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Davies and Dildy 2007, p. 153.
- "F-15J / DJ" (in Japanese). Rightwing. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "J/APQ-1 rear warning receiver (Japan)". Jane's Avionics. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Japan looks at Eagle engine swap". Flight International, 1998-09-02. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- goebel, greg. "F-15 in Japanese Service". Air Vectors. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Aoki, Norio. "Mitsubishi/McDonnel F-15" (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "We deliver modernization F-15 of trial improve" (in Japanese). MHI Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Mid-Term Defense Program (FY 2005–2009)" (PDF). National Defense Program Guidelines (10 Dec. 2004). Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Melco starts F-15J radar upgrade". Flight International, 14 March 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "Lockheed Martin to Upgrade Radar for Reconnaissance Version of Japan's F-15." Lockheed Martin press release, 19 June 2007.
- Govindasamy, Siva. "Mitsubishi to lead Japanese F-15 upgrades". Flight International, 2007-11-26. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "5. Scale of Build-up and Necessary Budget, Section 4. Mid-Term Defense Program" (PDF). Annual White Paper 2009 (DEFENSE OF JAPAN). Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Summary of Mid-Term Defense Program (FY2011-FY2015)" (PDF). Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- "1. Major Equipment, Major equipment.". Defense Programs and Budget of Japan. Overview of FY2011 Budget Request. Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Davies 2002.
- (in Japanese) Tokyo: Ikaros Publications, Ltd. (Japan Publications Trading) volume 123, Issue November 2008.
- "Directory: World Air Forces". Flight International, 11–17 November 2008.
- "Japan Air Self-Defence Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force". Scramble.nl. Retrieved 2011-12-03.
- Lorell, Mark A. Troubled partnership: a history of U.S.-Japan collaboration on the FS-X fighter. Transaction Publishers, 1996. ISBN 978-1-56000-891-0.
- Davies, Steve. Combat Legend, F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle. London: Airlife Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1-84037-377-6.
- Davies, Steve and Doug Dildy. F-15 Eagle Engaged: The World's Most Successful Jet Fighter. Osprey Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-84603-169-9.
- Jenkins, Dennis R. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Supreme Heavy-Weight Fighter. Hinckley, UK: Midland Publishing, 1998. ISBN 1-85780-081-8.
- Rininger, Tyson. F-15 Eagle at War. Zenith Imprint, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7603-3350-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mitsubishi F-15|
- F-15J at Globalsecurity.org
- F-15J fighter on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
- Flight International (19 April 2005). "Japan seeks to replace Phantoms". Flight International.
- Sobie, Brendan (26 October 2004). "F-15J radar upgrade in production". Flight International.
- Flight International (17 April 2001). "Japanese outline aircraft purchase plans for 2002-7". Flight International.
- Flight International (4 July 2000). "Japan integrates XAAM-5 on F-15J". Flight International.