Berlin – The German government has said it has excluded Japanese-made P-1 patrol aircraft from its list of candidates for a patrol plane to be purchased by around 2025.
Purchasing the P-1 would involve substantial temporal and legal risks as Germany lacks an adequate cooperative relationship with Japan, the government said in a written answer to a question from a lawmaker.
In the past, Japan tried unsuccessfully to sell the P-1, used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force, to other countries including the United Kingdom.
Currently, the German government is selecting a stopgap patrol plane to be used from 2025 to around 2035.
The German military will retire its current P-3C aircraft, built by Lockheed Martin Corp. of the United States, in 2025. Its next-generation patrol plane, to be developed jointly by Germany and France, is scheduled to be introduced in around 2035.
Following the exclusion of Japan’s P-1, three models, including U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Co.’s P-8 and European aircraft maker Airbus’s C-295 marine patrol aircraft, remain as candidates.
Initially, Japan sought ways to provide technologies from the P-1 by taking part in the German-French project to develop the next-generation patrol aircraft.
But it had to change its strategy after Germany decided in June this year to end the use of the P-3C in 2025, ahead of the initial schedule of 2035, due to aging of the aircraft.
Japan hoped to offer the P-1 for use as the stopgap aircraft. But the plan was seen as difficult, as it was expected to take time to acquire military aircraft type certification for the P-1, making it difficult to deliver the aircraft by 2025.
There is still a chance for Japan to participate in the joint project. But the prospects for the P-1 are not bright because the German government has said it will choose the stopgap aircraft by taking into account its relationship with the joint development.