Japan’s P-X Maritime Patrol AircraftMay 12, 2005 06:07 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
In our article P-8A MMA May Become an Multinational Program, DID asked for reader input re: current Japanese projects in this area.
Andrew Durston of Smiths Aerospace pointed us to an 2002 article that offered a thought-provoking analysis of the Martitime Patrol aircraft segment, and noted Japan’s indigenous P-X program. That article was written before a contractor or aircraft model had been selected for the P-8 MMA System Design & Development phase.
The first engineering and demonstration aircraft for the P-X maritime patrol and C-X transport programs are scheduled to commence at flight-test in 2007; they will eventually replace the Japan Defense Agency’s current 96 P-3C Orion and 26 C-1 transport aircraft. To take advantage of economies of scale, both aircraft, as far as possible, will have shared structure and avionics. Based on the rollout pictures, it’s interesting to note that both aircraft look a lot like their predecessors; the P-X has the P-3′s shape but uses jet engines, while the C-X strongly resembles the C-1.
The JMSDF has awarded the production of both aircraft to Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Gifu, Japan, which also manufactures Japan’s P-3C Orion aircraft under license.
The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is reportedly interested in creating mission system commonalities between their indigenous P-3 solution, the P-X, and MMA. A joint work effort between the Japan P-X and U.S. MMA programs has been underway for some time now, focusing on avionics and mission systems interoperability.
Additional Readings & Sources
- Japan Ministry of Defence – Number of Major Aircraft and Performance Specifications
- Japan Ministry of Defence – Technical Research & Development Institute re: P-X, C-X. Tip from Intellibriefs’ June 12/07 article in English: “Japan’s C-X, P-X Revealed.”
- Defense News (June 18/07) – Japan Seeks To Broaden Aerospace Industrial Skills. Offers an industry-centric view of Japan’s P-X and C-X programs, which are designed primarily to keep its aerospace players somewhat competitive. The conclusion is that this works for Japan’s Tier 1 firms, but doesn’t bring Tier 2 & 3 firms up to global standards.
- NAVAIR News Release (Jan 13/03) – Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft: The Future of Maritime Patrol
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Aerospace America Magazine (April 2002) – Maritime patrol market: Escaping the doldrums