Japan Shops Futuristic Sub-Hunter Plane



With arms export ban loosened, Tokyo is shopping an indigenous sub-hunting plane for the first time at an American arms show.

It looks like a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train with wings. Two round bubbles and sharp antennas jut from its spine and underbelly. But this is no 737 people mover. It’s Kawasaki’s new P-1 submarine-hunting airplane, the first of its kind Japan has shown to foreign buyers after loosening World War II-era arms exports restrictions. And it’s a doozy.

The display inside a massive conference center just outside the Washington Beltway marks the first time Kawasaki has showcased the plane at an American trade show, a company rep said. Japan modified its constitution in 2014, allowing Tokyo to export arms for the first time since World War II. Kawasaki pitched the P-1 at an arms show in Japan last summer.

As China and North Korea step up their submarine patrols, maritime surveillance aircraft are in demand.

“In 2015, China continued the trend of conducting submarine deployments to the Indian Ocean, ostensibly in support of its counterpiracy patrols,” the Pentagon said last week in its annual assessment of Beijing’s military.

“The P-1 is a [Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force] long-range, long-endurance anti-submarine warfare maritime patrol aircraft which provides superiority in the territorial waters and coastal regions of Japan,” one brochure reads.

The plane’s “large windshields and bubble windows enables superior visibility,” reads another page, above a picture of a Japanese P-1 taking off. “The P-1 is especially suited for low-altitude [anti-submarine warfare] with its large wing and spacious fuselage.”

And it can pack some firepower too: bombs, missiles, torpedoes, and mines fit inside an internal weapons bay or can be strapped to its wings.

Full article: Japan Shops Futuristic Sub-Hunter Plane (Defense One)

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