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Kawasaki C-2

Japan (2017)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Kawasaki C-2 Tactical Military Transport Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 11/17/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Kawasaki C-2  
Picture of Kawasaki C-2 Tactical Military Transport Aircraft
Picture of Kawasaki C-2 Tactical Military Transport Aircraft

With a first-flight in 2010, setbacks have delayed the service entry of the promising Kawasaki C-2 military transport.

With the need to modernize into an independent fighting force (apart from reliance on the United States) and keep in step with developments emerging from China, the Japanese military is eyeing success with its in-development Kawasaki "C-2" series twin-engine transport. The aircraft was born from a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) requirement calling for a new, high-wing transport to replace its stock of propeller-driven 1950s-era Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" models and 1970s'era Kawasaki "C-1" jet-powered transport line. Reviewing several possible foreign-originated replacements ultimately left authorities with the decision to go the indigenous route and the C-X program was begun headed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Development begat the intended product with its modern swept-back high-wings, deep fuselage, and traditional "T-style" tail unit. The flight deck sits behind a blunt nose cone assembly while the tubular fuselage is of a stout, wide design. The multi-wheeled main undercarriage legs sit under bulges in the lower regions of the fuselage with the wing mainplanes seated at the top of the aircraft. Each wing contains an underslung engine nacelle as well as a network of flaps and other required surface controls. The empennage is characterized by the high-mounted horizontal planes emerging from the sole vertical tail fin. A powered cargo bay door is seated at the base of the tail section for access to the hold when loading/unloading goods. The typical crew arrangement is to feature three made up of two pilots and a loadmaster. The hold is cleared to carry infantry (including paratroopers), special missions equipment, up to eight cargo pallets, or a Sikorsky UH-60J (or similar) medium-lift helicopter. Empty weight is listed at 134,000lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) nearing 265,000lb.

The high-wing approach grants the C-2 the strong lifting properties required for short-field operations, listed as one of the JASDF original requirements. The service plans to procure up to thirty of the aircraft to help add a tactically-flexible aircraft to its modernizing arsenal.

The aircraft was originally recognized under the "C-X" designation before being changed to the "XC-2". Production forms will take on the plain C-2 designation under the Kawasaki brand label. The C-2 has been developed alongside another Kawasaki product - the "P-X" for the Japanese navy - to help better manage program costs and development phases. This aircraft is intended as a maritime patrol platform for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and was introduced in 2013 while seeing at least thirteen airframes built to date (2014). The XC-2 itself has entered its flight testing phase, having recorded a first flight back on January 26th, 2010, though developmental/budgetary issues have pushed back its official service introduction - perhaps coming as soon as 2015 or slightly later.
With power derived from 2 x General Electric CF6-80C2K1F series turbofan engines outputting at 59,740lbf each, the C-2 will sport cruising speeds of around 550 miles per hour, a ferry range of 6,215 miles, and a service ceiling up to 40,000 feet. A commercial passenger-moving/cargo-hauling version is also being planned by Kawasaki for the civilian market.

The first C-2 aircraft was delivered in June of 2016, marking the end of some 15 years of development.

The C-2 has been officially declared ready-for-service by the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

March 2017 - The Kawasaki C-2 formally began service with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

November 2017 - The C-2 was showcased at the Dubai Air Show to potential global customers looking to replace aging model lines such as the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
Kawasaki XC-2 Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 2017
Status: Active, In-Service
Type: Tactical Military Transport Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki - Japan
Production: 10
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 3
Length: 144.03 ft (43.9 m)
Width: 145.67 ft (44.40 m)
Height: 46.59 ft (14.20 m)
Empty Weight: 134,041 lb (60,800 kg)
MTOW: 311,734 lb (141,400 kg)

Installed Power
2 x General Electric CF6-80C2K1F turbofan engines developing 59,740 lb of thrust each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 631 mph (1,015 kph; 548 kts)
Maximum Range: 6,214 mi (10,000 km; 5,400 nm)
Service Ceiling: 40,026 ft (12,200 m; 7.58 mi)


Operators List

Series Model Variants
• C-2 - Base Series Designation; initial production models; 30 intended for procurement by the JASDF.
• C-X - Original developmental designator
• XC-2 - Revised developmental designator
• C-2 (Commercial) - Planned civilian-market passenger/cargo mover.

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