Report by : Thierry Letellier
Also known as Ibaraki Airport , in fact the Japan Air self-Defence Force is now sharing his 2 runways with the Civilian Airport . Basically the Air Base remain on all the eastern side of the field . JASDF Hyakuri is part of the Central Air Defence Force : [ 7e KOKUDAN ] This wing is established with 2 squadrons [ HIKOTAI ], the first one is n°302 Squadron equiped with F-4EJ / T-4 . The second squadron is n° 305 Squadron with F-15J / F-15DJ + T-4. The reconnaissance Wing [ TEISATSU KOKUTAI ] is armed with a single squadron ; the Famous 501 Hikotai equiped with R-F4E Kai / R-F4EJ Kai + some T4.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force received 154 Japanese F-4EJ Phantoms including the final Phantom built worldwide. All Japanese F-4EJs are optimized for the air defense role and used to equip six interceptor squadrons. In total 96 F-4EJs have been upgraded to the F-4EJ “Kai” (new) standard and will serve the JASDF well into the next millenium. Fourteen unarmed reconnaissance versions of the F-4EJ were built by McDonnell and delivered to the JASDF between November 1974 and June 1975. They were designated RF-4EJ. They were virtually identical to the USAF RF-4C, with the only differences being the deletion of certain equipment such as the radar homing and warning suite.The JASDF upgraded 11 of its RF-4Es to RF-4E Kai standards.
The modifications included the replacement of the AN/APQ-99 radar by an AN/APQ-172 unit with digital image processing. The J/APR-2 RWR was replaced by J/APr-5. At least nine F-4EJs have been converted to RF-4EJ standards. These aircraft differ from the RF-4E/RF-4E Kai in not having any internal reconnaissance equipment. However they can carry three types of sensor pods — the TACER (an elecronic reconnaissance pod with datalink), the TAC (carrying KS-135A and KS-95B cameras, plus a D-500UR IR system) and the LOROP (with KS-146B camera).
The Japanese Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) initially acquired 88 F-15s to replace four squadrons of F-104Js and operate alongside six squadrons of F-4EJs. Beginning in 1981, there have been a total of 223 units, including the F-15DJs, manufactured and delivered to the Air Self-Defense Force. The Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ Eagle is the principal air superiority fighter operated by the JASDF. The 305e Squadron (July 1993) (7th Air Wing) was established at Hyakuri. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Mid-Life Upgrade study focused on improving the central computer and radar. The MLU also involved an upgrade of the J/ALQ-8 ECM system, additional ECM equipment and FLIR and IRST equipment. These modifications would give the F-15J a true fire-and-forget BVR AAM capability. The initiative was outlined in 2001 to give commonality to 100 F-15J/DJ. Flight testing began on 18 July 2003. It was initially planned to upgrade 20 examples per year, but only 12 were actually be complete by 2005, at which time the target was for four upgraded squadrons by 2010. The initial phase of the upgrade had enhanced ECM capability for the AN/APG-63U radar and new Lockheed Martin central computer. The second phase introduced Mitsubishi Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) based on the J/APQ-2 system developed for the Mitsubishi F-2.
The Search and Rescue Wing in using a single squadron [ Hyakuri Kyunantai ] equiped with the UH-60J Helicopter . The long range missions are made with the twin jet engine U-125. I spen some great moments around this base . I was lucky enough to see the 2 runways used northernly then southernly . Hyakuri AB remain one of my very best favorite airbases .