Kawasaki Heavy Industries aims to deliver the first XP-1 fixed-wing maritime patroller to Japan’s defense ministry by the end of this year. The aircraft, rolled out as P-X, completed a successful hour-long first flight on September 28 from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Gifu Base.
The XP-1 features the world’s first fly-by-light system with high electromagnetic interference tolerance and new acoustic and radar systems with enhanced detection capabilities. Test pilot Akihiro Sekido, who headed the 11-member crew said, “Both the flight system and the engine worked fine. It was a perfect flight and went as planned.”
The defense ministry began concurrent development of the XP-1 and C-X transport aircraft in 2001 to replace the P-3C and C-1 models. Kawasaki is conducting test flights of the XP-1 at Gifu Works, while the C-X is yet to fly. Funds for the first four P-1 production aircraft were included in the annual defense budget revealed earlier this month.