Japan wants Britain to buy its P-1 submarine-hunting jet in a deal that could top $1 billion (660 million pounds), a major step in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to arms exports after decades of self-imposed restrictions
Japan is trying to sell its new P-1 submarine-hunting jet to the British military in a new effort to up its own military exports, bucking decades of Japanese policies against arms exports.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the maker of P-1 maritime patrol aircraft, would compete with Boeing’s tried-and-tested, state-of-the-art P-8 Poseidon for the contract, which is expected to be worth more than $1 billion (£600 million).
Even if Britain doesn't buy, the P-1 could benefit from being treated as a genuine contender, Japan hopes.
The U.K. hasn’t formally decided whether it will go ahead and buy a new patrol aircraft, so talks are anything but formal. Still, the U.K. recently retired its own domestically built patrol aircraft and is expected to replace it after cancelling a previous replacement contract with BAE systems after lengthy delays.
Britain scrapped its own Nimrod patrol planes after the 2010 cost-cutting defence review and has since had to rely on allies including France, Canada and America to fill the gap.