Kawasaki P-1

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Kawasaki P1 - RIAT 2015 (20142197773).jpg
Kawasaki P-1
Role Maritime patrol aircraft
Manufacturer Kawasaki
First flight 28 September 2007
Introduction 2013[1]
Status In service
Primary user Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Produced 33
Unit cost

2015 MOD Budget: 20 units (¥350.4 billion) / US$140.8 million each[2]

2014 MOD Budget: 3 units (¥ 59.4 billion) / US$167 million each[3]

The Kawasaki P-1 (previously P-X, XP-1) is a Japanese maritime patrol aircraft in service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as a replacement for the P-3C Orion. The JMSDF took delivery of the first two operational P-1 aircraft on 26 March 2013.[1]


With its P-3C aircraft having been in service for twenty years, the JMSDF began to look for a replacement maritime patrol aircraft. Lockheed and the United States had been working on the Lockheed P-7 to replace its own P-3s, but the program had been cancelled. Since other similar aircraft (such as the Nimrod) did not meet the JMSDF's requirements, they decided to develop their own aircraft.

The project was intended to share many design components with the Kawasaki C-2, another local design intended to replace the C-1 and C-130H cargo aircraft. However, due to the very different roles of the two aircraft, only minimal similarities have been achieved. The merit rather lies in the sharing of development resources, allowing a large reduction in development costs. Total development costs included C-X are 345 billion Yen ($3 billion) at 2007.[4]


P-1 with its US equivalent, the Boeing P-8 Poseidon in 2014

Like the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, S-3 Viking and P-8 Poseidon, the P-1 is a turbofan-powered design, and has four podded IHI F7-10 turbofan engines under the low-set wings.

The P-X and C-X designs were originally independent, but it was later decided to make some components common to both designs.[5] Common components shared with the C-X include cockpit windows, outer wings, and horizontal stabilizer. Internal shared parts include the auxiliary power unit, cockpit panel, flight control system computer, anti-collision lights, and gear control unit. Development costs were reduced by about 25 billion yen (US$218 million) through shared components, and operation maintenance costs should also be reduced.[citation needed]

The P-1 has an artificial intelligence (AI) system to assist TACCO operation. Similar to the SH-60K, an advanced combat direction system directs the TACCO operator to the best flight course to attack a submarine.[6]

Fly-by-light is an important feature, decreasing electro-magnetic disturbances to the sensors compared to fly-by-wire. The P-1 is the first production aircraft to be equipped with such a flight control system.

Sensors on the P-1, such as Toshiba HPS-106 active electronically scanned array using four antennas for 360 degree coverage (AESA), magnetic anomaly detector (MAD), and Infrared/Light detection systems, will be used to detect submarines and small vessels.

The P-1 has a bomb bay for anti-submarine weapons, as well as eight external pylons[7] to carry ASMs or bombs.[8]

Operational history[edit]

JMSDF P-1(5506) which takes off from Iwakuni Air Base 20140914.JPG

On 31 August 2007 the Ministry of Defense revealed that they will procure four production airframes. The request in the FY2008 budget is 67.9 billion yen, or about US$566 million. This will make the unit price for each aircraft at US$141.5 million.[9]

In 2013, the ministry will order two units for ¥44.5 billion. These P-1s will have increased detection/discrimination capability, flight performance, information processing capability, and strike capability as a successor to existing (P-3C) fixed-wing patrol aircraft.[10]

The XP-1's first flight took place at Gifu Air Base in Japan on 28 September 2007. The flight lasted about one hour, and ended successfully.[11] The P-X was redesignated XP-1 at this time.

As of March 2010, Kawasaki Heavy Industries has delivered four XP-1 maritime patrol test aircraft to Japan's Ministry of Defense.[12]

On 8 August 2011, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced that two aircraft used for ground testing had developed tears in various parts of the craft, including the fuel tank and central part of the fuselage.[13] Repairs were planned to reinforce the affected areas.[13]

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force took delivery of its first two P-1s on 26 March 2013, ahead of a planned two years of test flights.[14] However, the planes were grounded on 14 May 2013, after one developed unstable combustion in some of its engines in flight.[15]

On 7 January 2015, Tokyo has been in defence talks with London to ascertain a possible sale of P-1s to the Royal Air Force to replace their retired Nimrods.[16] On 7 July 2015 the Royal International Air Tattoo confirmed that two P-1s would be attending the airshow, one aircraft in the flying display and one aircraft in the static display.[17] The aircraft would then continue to Djibouti for trials.[18]

Specifications (XP-1)[edit]

P-1 landing at RAF Fairford, England in 2015

Data from flightglobal.com[12][19]

General characteristics



  • Hardpoint: 8 wing stations in total (2x on each wing and 2x on each wing root) and eight internal bomb bay stations
  • Bombs: 20,000+ lb (9,000+ kg)
  • Missiles: AGM-84 Harpoon, ASM-1C, AGM-65 Maverick
  • Sonobuoys: 30+ Pre-loaded, 70+ Deployable from inside
  • Other: MK-46 and Type 97 and new(G-RX5) torpedoes, mines, depth charges


  • Radar: Toshiba, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system
  • Sonar: NEC, multi-static sound navigation system sound
  • Anti-submarine systems:SHINKO ELECTRIC CO.LTD., Advanced combat direction system
  • Other: Mitsubishi, Electronic countermeasures (CMD, RWR, MWS, ESM)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ a b "KHI gives MSDF first P-1 antisub patrol aircraft". The Japan Times. 
  2. ^ [1], Japanese Ministry of Defense website, 2015 Defense Budget.
  3. ^ [2], Japanese Ministry of Defense website, 2014 Defense Budget.
  4. ^ 中日新聞:<蜜月の終焉> ミライズに固執:防衛利権 蜜月の構図(CHUNICHI Web), Chunichi Shimbun website.
  5. ^ P-1&C-X development reference paper p4-p6 in TRDI Defense Technology Symposium 2007
  6. ^ P-1&C-X project reference paper p13 in TRDI Defense Technology Symposium 2007
  7. ^ P-1&C-X development reference paper p12-p13
  8. ^ Policy assessment's outline paper about P-1's production
  9. ^ Policy assessment's reference paper about P-1 production
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ "防衛省技術研究本部". mod.go.jp. Technical Research & Development Institute. 
  12. ^ a b Japan's test programme for maritime patrol and transport aircraft under way
  13. ^ a b "Kawasaki XP-1 develops cracks in ground testing". Flightglobal.com. 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 8 August 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "KHI gives MSDF first P-1 antisub patrol aircraft". 27 March 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "New MSDF patrol jets grounded since May". 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  16. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/07/us-japan-uk-arms-exclusive-idUSKBN0KG0WG20150107
  17. ^ http://www.airtattoo.com/news/2015/jul/07/japan-makes-air-tattoo-history
  18. ^ http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/formal/info/news/201507/20150707-02.pdf
  19. ^ Reed Business Information Limited. "VIDEO: Japan’s Kawasaki XP-1 patrol aircraft makes first flight". flightglobal.com. 

External links[edit]