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.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Breaking into a market that has traditionally favored U.S.-made products, British defense systems builder GKN has aced a $1.5 billion helicopter deal with the Japanese navy. GKN’s 13-helicopter order comes just weeks after Sikorsky voluntarily withdrew its S-92 from the same competition.
New aircraft rollouts are all too rare these days, so the double unveiling by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of its C-X transport and P-X maritime patroller was a welcome surprise, even if the revelation was not a public occasion.
Boeing made the apparently radical decision two years ago to use composites for most of the primary structure of its new 787 jetliner, resulting in a need for around 35 tons of the material per airplane. Japan’s Toray Industries, whose Torayca pre-preg is used already by Boeing for the 777’s tail and floor beams, was selected a year ago to supply the raw material, which combines carbon fibers with toughened epoxy resin.
Production line snags have forced Embraer to reduce its delivery forecast this year from 145 to 135, the company revealed last month.
This month will mark the end of Kawasaki Aeronautica do Brasil’s wing production in Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil, as the company transfers work packages for the metallic airfoil sections for the 190 and 195 airliners to Embraer as outlined in a letter of agreement signed by the parties in late May.