Kawasaki P-1 : Maritime patrol aircraft

Kawasaki P-1
Kawasaki P-1

Militarymedia.net - The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has used the Lockheed P-3 Orion for decades as their primary maritime patrol aircraft. It operates nearly 100 American-made P-3C maritime patrol aircraft. Another 110 P-3J was produced under license by Kawasaki. However, this type of aircraft is out of date.

The Kawasaki P-1 was designed as a replacement for the P-3 Orion. It made its first flight in 2009 and put in an impressive performance. This aircraft was adopted at the JMSDF in 2013. It replaced the aging Orions fleet. To date, there are 33 Kawasaki P-1 aircraft in operation and about 60 others are on order. The British Royal Air Force appears interested in purchasing several dozen Kawasaki P-1s to replace their retired Nimrod.

The Kawasaki P-1 is designed to perform the same missions as most maritime patrol aircraft. It is capable of conducting remote land and sea surveillance and reconnaissance, anti-shipping, submarine attack, gathering intelligence and conducting search and rescue. This is broadly the equivalent of the US Boeing P-8 Poseidon.

This maritime patrol aircraft is powered by 4 turbofan engines. It was specially developed for Kawasaki by the Japanese IHI Company. Each engine delivers 60 kN of thrush.

Airplanes have plenty of room for weaponry. There are 8 hardpoints for missiles and 8 stations for internal bombs. The P-1 can carry the Japanese US AGM-84 Harpoon or ASM-1C anti-ship missile, as well as the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile, which can also be used against ships. This aircraft can also carry various torpedoes.

Even so, what makes the Kawasaki P-1 stand out from the competition is its avionics. The latest technology is used to equip this aircraft, from the Toshiba radar system to the Shinko Electric combat system, specifically for anti-submarine warfare.

This aircraft is equipped with a sophisticated artificial intelligence system. This system simplifies the work of the tactical coordinator officer, which has a direct impact on the overall performance of the aircraft.

Unlike most similar aircraft, the Kawasaki P-1 does not use ordinary fly-by-wire technology, but rather a fly-by-light system. In fact, the P-1 was the first production aircraft to use this kind of flight control system.

The price of a single Kawasaki P-1 aircraft ranges between $ 140.8 million and $ 167 million. It's worth noting that the Lockheed P-3 Orion costs around $ 36 million.

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