The announcement comes as Kawasaki Heavy Industries, builder of the P-1, continues its push to find international buyers for the aircraft that compares to Boeing’s P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, which is flown by the U.S. Navy.
Japan will send two P-1s to Britain with one on display and the other performing in the airshow. It’s notable that the Japanese chose a British air show to debut its submarine hunter.
Britain was one of the first countries to show interest in the P-1 after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to reverse previous self-imposed Japanese defense export restrictions and allowed domestic manufacturers like Kawasaki to find foreign partners.
The British have had to depend on foreign navies and air forces to patrol for submarines since they retired the Nimrod and canceled the BAE Systems effort to replace it due to cost overruns.
Kawasaki did not bring any aircraft to the Paris Air Show last month, but it did receive quite a bit of attention at the show from countries interested in boosting their maritime patrol capabilities.
Kawasaki built the P-1 to replace the P-3 in the Japanese fleet. Lockheed Martin built the P-3, which is being replaced by the U.S. Navy by Boeing’s P-8.
The four-jet P-1 has a maximum range around 4,300 nautical miles and has four hard points that allows it to carry missiles, torpedoes, mines and depth charges.
The Kawasaki P-1 Japanese maritime patrol aircraft. The Sensors on the P-1, such as Toshiba HPS-106 active electronically scanned array using four antennas for 360 degree coverage (AESA), magnetic anomaly detector (MAD), and Infrared/Light detection systems, will be used to detect submarines and small vessels. The P-1 has a bomb bay for anti-submarine weapons, as well as eight external pylons to carry ASMs or bombs.