Friday, December 18, 2009

Japanese Anti-Submarine Technology Leading the World

The second prototype of Japanese homegrown anti-submarine aircraft P-1 has been delivered to Japan’s Ministry of Defence in Japan in August 2009. It marks that the Japanese anti-submarine technology has led the world even been ahead that of the United States.

Japan as we know is a country around by sea. Certainly, the security on sea is its most important concern. To replace the aged P-3C American anti-submarine patrol aircraft “Orion”, Japan started its own Kawasaki XP-1 program in 2007, while the United States put forward the P-8A anti-submarine patrol aircraft program. The Japanese XP-1 program has been carrying out by Japan Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Compared with P-3C Orion, Japanese P-1 has made an all-round progress. On the power system, P-1 is equipped with four F7-10 turbofan engines self-developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, while P-3C is propelled with turboprop engines. Therefore, the cruising speed of the Japanese P-1 is over 830 km/h, much faster than 620 km/h of P-3C. The turbofan engines also bring P-1 a cruising altitude of 13,000m, which exceeds much the P-3C’s 8800m. The P-1’s advanced cruising speed and altitude increased significantly its submarine-hunting capability. Because of the excellent power system, P-1 has also a strategic range of more than 8,000km.

Taking the advantage of Japanese electronics technology, P-1 is equipped with more advanced submarine detecting equipment including radar, sonar systems, infrared detection systems, and magnetic anomaly detectors. Allegedly, it can effectively detect still submarines under waters.

With the newest computer technology, the P-1's battle command system is able to process data and intercept a variety of information much faster than P-3C does, so as to quickly identify enemy targets and immediately launch attacks. One thing needs to mention here is P-1 uses optical fiber as the transmission medium to achieve the data link between the sensors and the flight control board. This optical fiber transmission significantly downsized the entire control system weight and volume and raised the level of anti-electromagnetic interference. Therefore, the P-1’s stability and maneuverability are greatly increased.

Addition to excellent detecting performance, Japanese P-1 also has a powerful attack capability. It can totally load more than nine tons of weapons including torpedoes, anti-submarine bombs, and anti-ship missiles.

According to the timetable established by Japan's Defense Ministry, Japan will start to mass-produce P-1s before 2012.