JAPANESE military aircraft will fly at a European air display for the first time at Fairford this month.

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), which takes place between July 17 and 19 at RAF Fairford, will host the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) as it displays two examples of its Kawasaki P-1 four-jet maritime patrol aircraft — one in the static park and the other in the flying programme.

The P-1’s participation in the event will be the first time any Japanese military aircraft has ever taken part in a European flying display.

Andy Armstrong, chief executive of RIAT, said the appearance was a real coup for the show.

“The appearance at RIAT 2015 of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force with two P-1s looks set to be another milestone in the air tattoo’s history,” he said.

“The event has fostered close links with the Japanese military over recent years, as evidenced by two appearances of Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Boeing KC-767 tanker/transports.

“Now we look forward to welcoming the JMSDF for the first time and to seeing its impressive P-1 in the air. I know this will be a major highlight of the whole 2015 season.”

Developed to replace the Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol platforms operated by the JMSDF, the plane is another demonstration of the advanced capabilities of Japan’s aviation industry and came into service in 2013.

Given the size of Japan’s territorial waters and the number of islands under its jurisdiction, long-range maritime patrol in defence of the country’s interests is a very important role.

The P-1 has a maximum range somewhere in the region of approximately 8,000km, or 4,300 nautical miles, and is equipped with advanced Toshiba HPS-106 active electronically-scanned array maritime search radar for its primary mission.

Weapons are carried on underwing and wing root-mounted hardpoints and in a capacious weapons bay.

Those employed by the P-1 including the AGM-84 Harpoon missile, AGM-65 Maverick missile, torpedoes, mines and depth charges.

For more information on the display and to book tickets to attend, log on to www.airtattoo.com