Two P-1 aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force made a stopover at Sigonella AB, Sicily, during a world tour to test and make know the aircraft.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft at Sigonella AB, Sicily.

Sigonella Air Base hosted and supported a deployment of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force on April 21-22 and May 2-3, 2018. The Japanese military personnel arrived at the Italian Air Force in Sicily with two P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

The stopover was included in the world stages that the Japanese government has chosen to navigate the globe to the east to test and make known its P-1 aircraft. Italy had already hosted Japanese MPAs in July 2015.

The Japanese military received support and assistance from the Italian personnel to allow the two P-1 aircraft to continue their navigation for the following destinations.

The Japanese foreign staff was greeted by the Inspector of the Aviation for the Navy, General of the Air Brigade Amedeo Magnani, and by the Commander of the 41st Wing and Sigonella AB, Colonel Francesco Frare. The commander of the Japanese expedition, Captain of Frigate Masahide Ito, thanked for the welcome and hospitality received by the staff of the Italian Air Force.

All activities were overseen and coordinated by Captain of Vascello Takashi Nara, Defense Officer at the Japanese Embassy in Rome. He also expressed satisfaction and gratitude to the Italian Government for the support received.

The Kawasaki P-1 is a four-engine jet patrol aircraft, designed and built by the Japanese Kawasaki Heavy Industries, powered by 4 IHI XF7-10 dual-flow turbojet engines. The history of the P-1 began in 2001, when Kawasaki started to study and development a new patrol aircraft designed to the hard task of replacing a great platform: the Lockheed P-3 Orion. The Japanese company presented the prototype of the P-1 in 2007. In the same year the first flight was made.

Sigonella Airport Command has the task of providing technical, logistic, administrative and operational support to the 41st Stormo Antisom equipped with P-72A aircraft, to the 61st Flight Group equipped with UAVs and to the flight units deployed and in transit on the Air Base.

Source, Images: Italian Air Force

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