Monday, October 24, 2011

JMSDF P-3 Program Overview

Cmdr. Shinichi Isogai from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force gave an update on the Japanese P-3 program. He is currently the Japanese technical liason for Naval Aviation programs. He is an experienced test engineer with flight time in more than 22 types.

Current status of Japan's P-3s: The 84 P-3Cs are in three configurations, including UDII, UDIII, and UDIII+. Eleven P-3Cs have been retired. The JMSDF is currently flying five EP-3s. Several P-3s will be retired over the next 20 years.

The P-1, a four-engine jet patrol aircraft is now in development. The P-1 is bigger in all dimensions than the P-3, including a larger wing area.

However, with current budget constraints, P-1 procurement will be curtailed over the next several years and the P-3 fleet will need to be retained and upgraded.

Replacement of the front spar web will extend the life of the Japanese P-3s by several thousand flight hours.

The JMSDF is involved with counter-piracy operations in Somalia and and Gulf of Aden. Two P-3Cs were deployed to Djibouti starting in 2009. Crews are monitoring the area and supplying information to the various military surface ships operating in the area. P-3Cs continue to be deployed and JMSDF is now in its seventh deployment to Djibouti. The JMSDF has built a permanent base there.

He closed with a humor-filled video showing the JMSDF's mini-P-3s (motorcycle-based) conducting "formation maneuvers," "mine deployment," "SAM countermeasures," and "ASW and ASuW attacks" during at an airshow. He received a big round of applause.

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