KHI Aiming To Develop P-1 EW Version
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) is aiming to develop an electronic warfare version of the P-1 maritime patroller, evidently targeting a navy requirement for replacing radio frequency and optical surveillance versions of the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion.
An illustration of an electronic warfare version of the P-1 in KHI’s business plan showed additional radomes or fairings on the top, bottom and left side of the forward fuselage; another on the right side could be expected.
Surveillance P-3s, namly OP-3Cs and EP-3s, make up 13.5% of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s in-service P-3s.
Each OP-3C has an electro-optical sensor and an imaging radar. The EP-3s, with many antennas, collect radio signals. The ministry last year issued a request for proposals for replacing aircraft of both versions.
An indigenous alternative for the navy requirement should be a version of the Mitsubishi Aircraft Spacejet, formerly MRJ. This regional jet is due for first delivery to an airline customer in mid-2020. It is of about the size of a large business jet, a category of aircraft used for surveillance and jamming missions by other countries, and it is likely to be used by the Japanese air force as a government transport.
KHI has the advantage of incumbency: it built most of Japan’s P-3s and must have been deeply involved in creating the EP-3 and OP-3 versions.
This is an abbreviated version of an article that appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report by Bradley Perrett. Discussed in the full article are details about the electronic warfare version of the P-1 and a derivative of the C-2 airlifter. Subscribers can login here to access full article.