Japan's developmental Kawasaki Heavy Industries XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft has developed rips and tears during ground testing, although it is uncertain whether the problems will delay the type's entry into service.

"The tears and rips were found in several locations, such as inside the fuel tank of the main wing and on the fuselage near the foot of the main wing," said Japan's defence ministry.

The tears and rips measured 10-15cm in length.

The two aircraft affected were acquired for ground tests and not flight activities.

Kawasaki XP-1,
 © Kawasaki Heavy Industries

The defence ministry said repairs will be conducted to reinforce the damaged areas, but how this work will affect the XP-1's testing programme is uncertain.

Two other aircraft are used for flight tests.

 XPI number 2 - KHI
© Kawasaki Heavy Industries

The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force plans to acquire 65 P-1s to replace its Lockheed Martin P-3C Orions.

The indigenously-developed maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft is powered by four Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries F7-10 turbofan engines.

The XP-1 is 38m long, 12.1m high and has a wingspan of 35.4m, says KHI. Its basic operating weight is 79,700kg (176,000lb).

Source: Flight International