Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has suffered a setback with its C-X transport and P-X maritime patrol aircraft for Japan's defence ministry, with the discovery of a problem with the fuselage strength in all eight development aircraft.

KHI had planned to stage a dual roll-out ceremony for the new aircraft on 6 March, but is assessing the implications of the production fault. This centres on the use of defective rivets provided by a US supplier for the assembly of centre fuselage sections for the programme's static, fatigue and strength and flight-test aircraft.

KHI is investigating how to repair the affected sections before deciding whether the aircraft can be rolled out next month.

The first C-X was scheduled to fly in August, before being delivered to Japan's Technical Research and Development institute in March 2008. The first P-X will follow in August the same year.

Source: Flight International