Air International 1985-09
??? - Reluctant Samurai (2)
A Kawasaki-built P-3C Orion - one of 40 ordered to date in a planned procurement of 75 - in the markings of the 3rd Kokutai, which is the second unit to receive Orions to replace P-2J Neptunes.
With the unmistakable peak of Mount Fuji as a backdrop, the second of three Lockheed-built P-3C Orions bears the markings of the 51st Kokutai which was responsible for pre-service testing of the type.
Formed in 1963 at Hachinohe to fly P2V-7 Neptunes, the 4th Kokutai re-equipped on Kawasaki P-2Js between 1978 and 1980, and flies on with the piston-plus-jet-powered patrol aircraft today.
From its shore base at Tateyama, the 121st Kokutai deploys its Sea Kings - an HSS-2B version is illustrated - to the various destroyers equipped with helicopter decks.
Mitsubishi-built S-61A Sea Kings are used for search and rescue duties, operating in pairs at four bases.
The DDH-41 Haruna-class destroyer, one of the Japanese Navy ships from which the HSS-2 Sea Kings operate. Up to three helicopters can be carried.
The JGSDF has adopted the Hughes OH-6 as its standard observation helicopter, having acquired 117 Kawasaki-built OH-6Js by 1979, followed by 59 OH-6Ds to date. Illustrated is an OH-6J.
Kawasaki-Vertol KV-107-IIA-4 transport helicopters of the 1st Herikoputadan (1st Helicopter Brigade), the two Herikoputatais of which, at Kisarazu, are the principal users of the type.
A few Kawasaki-Vertol KV-107s continue in service with the 111th Kokutai as specialised minesweepers.
Fuji delivered 90 of these Bell UH-1Bs to JGSDF between 1962 and 1971, followed by 90 HU-1Hs. They are operated primarily by the regional Homen-Herikoputatais (Army Helicopter Squadrons).
The Beech Queen Air 65 is used by the JMSDF primarily for communications duties, and as a multi-engine trainer with 202nd Kyoiku Kokutai at Tokushima.
Delivery is under way of Bell AH-1J tactical support helicopters, following the arrival in Japan of three examples built by Bell.
Sole user of the Shin Meiwa US-1 search and rescue amphibian is the 71st Kokutai, operating at Iwakuni and Atsugi.
Distinguished from the US-1 primarily by the absence of search and rescue markings on the nose and tail, the Shin Meiwa PS-1 is not an amphibian, the wheels in the fuselage side visible here being only for beaching after alighting on the water. The operating unit is the 31st Kokutai.
A Shin Meiwa US-1 of the 71st Kokutai, which has eight of these search and rescue amphibians in service.
Nine Sikorsky S-62s, built by Mitsubishi, were operated by the search and rescue flights but have now largely been replaced by S-61AHs.
One of the six NAMC YS-11T-A crew trainers used by the 205th Kyoiku Kokutai at Shimofusa.
Two of the four NAMC YS-11Ms that are in service with the 61st Kokutai.
A Mitsubishi LR-1 liaison and photo-reconnaissance aircraft, as used by the various Homen-Hikotais.
A Kawasaki-built P-2J Neptune displays the unit insignia of the 3rd Kokutai, with a stylised "A" representing a snow-capped Mount Fuji, combined with a letter “t" to indicate Atsugi, the unit's home base.
(Top) The 2nd Kokutai is another current user of the P-2J.
(Bottom) A Kawasaki P-2J serving with the 205th Kyoiku Kokutai in the observation training role.