Japan's test programme for maritime patrol and transport aircraft under way

Singapore
Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
Subscribe today »

Kawasaki Heavy Industries has delivered four XP-1 maritime patrol test aircraft and one XC-2 military transport test aircraft to Japan's defence ministry.

KHI will have produced six XP-1s by year-end, it says, and has a firm order for four aircraft.

The Japanese aircraft-maker declines to reveal how many test flights have taken place, but says it aims to achieve certification in time for delivery of the first two aircraft by the end of March 2012. The other two are due to be delivered by the end of March 2013, it adds.

The XP-1, previously called the P-X, is Japan's replacement for the Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion. The maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft is powered by four Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries F7-10 turbofan engines.

 
© Kawasaki Heavy Industries

It is 38m (124ft) long, 12.1m high and has a wingspan of 35.4m, says KHI, adding that the XP-1's basic operating weight is 79.7t.

While KHI says it has delivered four test aircraft under the XP-1 programme, it also says it has delivered one XC-2 static test aircraft.

The XC-2, previously known as the C-X, is a large military transport aircraft that had its first flight on 26 January. KHI says it is due to deliver another three XC-2 test aircraft to the defence ministry. Some news reports say it plans to order 40 XC-2s, but KHI declines to comment. "We don't know the procurement plan of the ministry yet," it says.

 
© Kawasaki Heavy Industries

The XC-2 is powered by two General Electric CF6-80C2K turbofans. The aircraft is 43.9m long, 14.2m high and has a wingspan of 44.4m.

"Basic operating take-off weight is 120t," says KHI, which is developing the aircraft as a replacement for Japan's Lockheed C-130s and 1970s-era Kawasaki C-1 transports.

KHI says it is still at the beginning of a feasibility study for a commercial variant of the XC-2, but declines to comment further.