Japan is planning to hard sell its maritime reconnaissance plane, the P-1 made by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., to the UK and other western nations.
The aircraft is said to compete with Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon aircraft in service with the US Navy and a variant of it with the Indian Navy.
According to a report in the Japan Times today, discussions on the P-1 offer for the UK’s Nimrod replacement were initiated during the last Farnborough Air Show as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s arms exports thrust following the lifting a self-imposed military equipment exports ban in April last year.
Even if the UK does not buy the aircraft, the publicity surrounding the offer will attract the attention of other countries considering the purchase of maritime reconnaissance planes, the paper quoted an unnamed source as saying.
The Japanese Defense Ministry has been looking to tap foreign markets for its weapons makers, including potential deals to sell submarines to Australia. Another deal to sell a seaplane to India is expected to fructify this year.
Japan wants its defense suppliers to aggressively target the global arms market to bring down procurement costs.
Beyond the UK, Japan is looking at New Zealand, Norway and Canada as potential customers for its maritime surveillance P-1 aircraft.
The P-1 was developed to patrol Japan’s territorial waters and the Japanese Navy plans to buy around 20 of them.