An F-15DJ fighter belonging to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) crashed during a training exercise on January 31, 2022.
The Mitsubishi F-15J, a homegrown version of the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, is the main interceptor of JASDF. The F-15DJ is a twin-seater variant used for training.
The aircraft involved in the crash, registered as 32-8083, belonged to the Tactical Fighter Training Group, which acts as aggressor during aerial combat training. It had just taken off from Komatsu Air Base on the northern coast of Honshu Island, Japan, when radar contact was lost. Two pilots were on board.
The Ministry of Defense and the Japanese Coast Guard launched a recovery operation in the area where the aircraft went off the radar. An outer panel and survival equipment belonging to the fighter were found, confirming the fighter had crashed. Search and rescue operations continue as the crew has yet to be located.
The F-15J fleet will not be grounded. “The Air Force Chief of Staff has instructed all aircraft to be carefully inspected before and after the flight, and to educate all operators on emergency procedures to ensure flight safety,” Japan’s Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi told reporters. “We do not plan to stop the flight of the F15 fighter.”
In December 2021, the Japanese government included the modernization of Japan’s F-15 fleet into the so-called F-15JSI (Japan Super Interceptor) variant into the fiscal year 2022 budget.