Apr 29, 2018
Japan Pitches P-1 for France and Germany maritime patrol aircraft requirement
Two P-1s are currently in Berlin, Germany, participating in the ILA 2018 air show, with Reuters, citing Japanese government sources, reporting that Japan has asked P-1 manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries, or KHI, to explore possible partnerships with France’s Dassault Aviation and Thales.
France and Germany are in the preliminary stages of a program to find a “European solution” to replace their respective anti-submarine maritime patrol aircraft. Their defense ministers are due to sign a letter of intent to formalize the plan at the air show, and a road map for the program is expected by June.
France wants to replace its Breguet Atlantique turboprop anti-submarine aircraft, and Germany is looking for a new platform to take over from the Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion it currently operates.
KHI will almost certainly face competition from Airbus for the Franco-German program. The European aerospace giant recently launched a military variant for its popular A320neo civil airliner, which it says can be customized for a wide variety of roles and missions depending on customer requirements.
Other potential contenders for the program include Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon multimission aircraft and possibly Saab’s Swordfish.