Japan Exports P-3C Orion

4 June 2015

The Philippines will be Japan's first military export beneficiary as it finalizes transfer of a pair of anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft and radar technology to the country following the United States of America's (US) technology transfer approval.

Tokyo already has agreements on military equipment and technology transfers with the United States, Britain, Australia and France and a similar pact with Manila is needed to allow it to export to the Philippines.

A sale of the P-3C Orion, originally designed by Lockeed Martin Corporation of the United States and produced in Japan by Kawasaki Heavy Industries from 1978 to 1997, would be Japan's first full-fledged military export since Tokyo lifted its restrictions on military exports last year.

Tokyo is currently in discussion for US-2 amphibious aircraft to India for maritime rescue purposes, and is competing against France and Germany to build Australia's next generation submarine fleet.

Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the surveillance aircraft will have the same radar equipment used by Japan Self Defense Force aside from it having newer frame than those currently in the US Navy inventory.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the Defence Cooperation Agreement this afternoon after signing contract with a Japanese shipbuilder in the morning to buy a fleet of ten 44 meters patrol vessels worth ¥19 billion ($150 million) funded by Japan’s foreign aid program.

Abe said Japan will provide further assistance to upgrade Philippine coast guard capabilities.