Kawasaki Heavy Industries has developed a new maritime patrol aircraft, named the XP-1 (previously known as P-X), with intentions of using this aircraft to replace the P-3C maritime patrol aircraft operated by the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). The initial prototype aircraft of the XP-1 was first revealed in July 2007, with this aircraft completing its maiden flight in September 2007. By March of 2010, Kawasaki had delivered four XP-1 aircraft to the Ministry of Defense for ground testing, during which the Japanese defense ministry discovered tears in various sections of the test aircraft. As a result of this, repairs to the aircraft included reinforcement of the fuel tank and central parts of the fuselage.
Beginning in 2001, the Japanese Ministry of Defense initiated the development of the XP-1 aircraft in accord with the development of the C-X cargo transport aircraft. This development program would become the first of its kind to cover the progression and evolution of two large aircrafts encompassed by a single project. Towards the end of 2001 in November, Kawasaki was chosen as a prime contractor to design these aircraft, alongside the assistance of other suppliers and equipment manufacturers.
The XP-1 aircraft measures in at a length of 38 meters, with a tail height of 12.1 meters and wingspan of 35.4 meters. The latest innovation and technology allow for the XP-1 to provide greater range, higher speed, as well as a more useful load than the P-3C aircraft. A wide variety of weapon systems are carried by the external pylons of the XP-1, including weapons such as torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, depth charges, mines, and bombs.
Japan intends on bringing two of these new-generation Kawasaki XP-1 aircraft to the United Kingdom in order to market this aircraft platform to the British as a submarine hunter. The XP-1 aircraft’s international debut is highly anticipated, as these two aircrafts will be debuted at the Royal International Air Tattoo on July-17-19th.
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