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Boeing to upgrade Japan’s F-15s with advanced electronic warfare suite

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Boeing has been contracted to outfit Japanese F-15 Super Interceptor fighter jets with an advanced electronic warfare system.

The Boeing-BAE Systems Eagle Passive Warning Survivability System (EPWSS) will enhance the aircraft’s survivability in contested, signal-dense environments.

According to BAE, the system’s advanced radio frequency electronic countermeasures provide rapid response capabilities and enable deeper penetration against modern integrated air defense systems.

It collects and processes electromagnetic energy to provide a 360-degree battlespace picture to the pilot, helping them detect, identify, and rapidly respond to potential threats.

The system features “broad instantaneous bandwidth and a high-speed scan capability to detect all radio frequency threat classes, including low probability of intercept and modern agile threats.”

Installation will continue until  December 2028 under the $474.5 million contract.

The F-15J

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries license-built the Boeing F-15C/D in the 1980s as the F-15J/DJ.

The aircraft’s superior speed, maneuverability, and thrust allow the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to deploy it to intercept adversary jets.

Upgrading the fourth-generation aircraft with superior avionics and electronic countermeasure systems such as the EPWSS will help it challenge fifth-generation Chinese and Russian aircraft such as the J-20 and Su-57.

The US Air Force’s F-15E and F-15EX fighter jets are also being upgraded with the EPWSS.

F-15 Upgrades

The Japanese government reportedly negotiated a $3.5-billion deal in 2021 with the US to upgrade the Japanese Air Force’s 98 F-15 J aircraft to the F-15 JSI (Japan Super Interceptor) standard.

The upgrades include integrating the aircraft with the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, a new advanced cockpit system with an advanced mission computer, new radar, and a locally-sourced data link system interoperable with US data sharing systems.

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