Kawasaki P-1 prototype 5501 at Atsugi in October 2010 (Image © Robert van Zon)

Japan resumes flying own-made P-1s

Kawasaki P-1 prototype 5501 at Atsugi in October 2010 (Image © Robert van Zon)
Kawasaki P-1 prototype 5501 at Atsugi in October 2010 (Image © Robert van Zon)

The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) will resume flying the indigenous Kawasaki P-1 patrol aircraft this month, after being grounded since an engine malfunction in mid-air in May this year.

The Japanese Ministry of Defence confirmed on Wednesday October 9th that it has found the cause of the engine failure; a problem with the fuel injection into the engine. All five aircraft will be repaired and will then resume flight operations. According to Japanese media it seems that some fuel valves were altered for mass production and that caused flow problems to the engines.

Kawasaki’s P-1 looks like a fusion of the French-made Breguet Atlantique and American-made P-3 Orion with IHI XF7-10 turbofan engines instead of propellor power. Apart from a flight crew of 2, the aircraft houses a typical mission crew of 11. The aircraft is 125 feet (38 m) long and has a wingspan of 115 feet (35.4 m). The maximum take-off weight is 176,000 lbs (79,700 kg). The average on station flights of the aircraft are about 9.5 hours, in which time it covers 4,320 nautical miles (8,000 km). With a maximum speed of 538 knots (619 miles/hour or 538 knots) it gets to where it needs to be a lot quicker than the JMSDF P-3s.

The aircraft can carry 20,000 lbs (9,000 kg) of weaponry, including AGM-84 Harpoons, AGM-65 Mavericks, torpedos, mines and depth charges. It has 30 sonobuoys pre-loaded and can deploy another 70 from inside the aircraft.

The featuring image was sent by one of our readers, Robert van Zon from the Netherlands. Check his other great shot of the Kawasaki P-1 here >>>

Source: Japanese Ministry of Defence

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