Japan receives first Kawasaki XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft

Tokyo
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Japan's defence ministry has taken delivery of Kawasaki Heavy Industries' prototype XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft for a long-term programme of test and evaluation activities.

Flown for the first time in September 2007, the demonstrator has completed an initial 11-month phase of testing by its prime contractor, which expects to build 70 production P-1s to replace Japan's KHI/Lockheed Martin P-3C Orions.

xp-1
 © Seiji Hirokawa

Handed over on 29 August at the company's Gifu site, the Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries XF-7 turbofan-powered XP-1 will now enter flight test and evaluation by the defence ministry's Technical Research and Development Institute and Japanese navy at the latter's Atsugi air base. Flight testing is expected to continue until the end of fiscal year 2015.