Kawasaki C-2

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Not to be confused with the Kawasaki C2 motorcycle.
XC-2
Xc-2 20110520.jpg
First prototype XC-2 on approach to Gifu Air Base
Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries
First flight 26 January 2010
Status In development/flight testing
Primary user Japan Air Self-Defense Force
Number built 30 planned
Unit cost
approx. 14 billion yen / 136 million US dollars

The Kawasaki XC-2 (previously C-X) is a mid-size, twin-turbofan engine, long range, high speed military transport aircraft being developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).[1]

Development[edit]

After researching foreign aircraft like the C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, and Airbus A400M, the Ministry of Defense (Japan) concluded that no aircraft had the capabilities the JASDF required. The MOD decided to develop its own transport aircraft. In 2001, the MOD had decided on requesting a new transport aircraft, planning to buy 40 aircraft to replace its aging Kawasaki C-1 and C-130 Hercules fleets.[2]

Kawasaki Heavy Industries was chosen to develop the aircraft, in parallel with the P-X to cut costs, sharing major airframe parts and system components; using the same basic wing structure, although it is installed at different sweep angle and dihedral on the two versions, with different high lift devices and powerplant attachments. As of 2007, the total development cost for the two aircraft has been 345 billion yen (or roughly equal to $2.9 billion), which is comparably low to similar programs. The development contract for the P-8 Poseidon alone is $3.89 billion.) Kawasaki also intends to sell a commercial model able to fly on commercial airline routes.[3][4][5]

During the construction of the first prototype there was a problem with some American-made rivets which delayed the roll-out to July 4, 2007 along with its cousin aircraft P-X (now P-1). Structural testing also revealed deformation of the XP-1 / XC-2 horizontal stabiliser as well as cracking in the XC-2 undercarriage trunnion structure and parts of the fuselage. First flight of the XC-2 took place on 26 January 2010.[6]

According to the Chunichi Shimbun, the aircraft will cost about 10 billion yen per plane (about US$80 million). Postponement of the F-X program and the need to increase funding of the F-15J fleet modernisation program have necessitated a one-year delay in the C-2 program. Re-designated C-2 before the firstflight at Gifu Air Field, on 26 January 2010, the first flight was carried out without problems and the aircraft delivered to the Japan Ministry of Defence on 30 March 2010.[7][8][9][10][11]

The plane was delayed again in 2014 when the rear cargo door failed during pressure tests. The delay will increase the program cost by 40 billion yen ($390 million) to 260 billion yen.[12]

Design[edit]

The aircraft is being developed to meet the following requirements of the Ministry of Defense: a minimum payload of 26 tonnes, 120 ton (240,000 lb 108.8 tonnes) take-off weight, ability to land on short runways, (e.g. Tachikawa—900 m), a maximum payload of 37.6 tons (75,200 lb 34.1 metric tonnes) whilst taking off from a 2300m Take-off Field Length at a 141 tons (282,000 lb 127.9 tonnes) take-off weight, ability to fly international airway routes, tactical flight management system, automatic load/off-load system, in-flight refuelling and nightvision systems.

Specifications (C-2)[edit]

Data from Japanese MoD[13] flightglobal.com[14]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ 次期輸送機試作1号機の初飛行について, Ministry of Defense, January 25, 2010.
  2. ^ 平成21年度ライフサイクルコスト管理年次報告書, Equipment Procurement and Construction Office
  3. ^ Aviation Week Ares Blog, 27 Jan 2010
  4. ^ "Boeing Team Wins $3.89 Billion Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft Program," Boeing press release.
  5. ^ Kawasaki talks civil, Flightglobal.com, September 23, 2008.
  6. ^ P-X and C-X Test Aircraft Rolled Out Kawasaki Heavy Industries, July 04, 2007.
  7. ^ 中日新聞:<蜜月の終焉> ミライズに固執:防衛利権 蜜月の構図, Chunichi Shimbun, November 10, 2007.
  8. ^ [1] Japan Ministry of Defence press release.
  9. ^ XC-2 Test Aircraft Delivered to Japanese Defense Ministry, Kawasaki Heavy Industries news release
  10. ^ [2] Japan Ministry of Defence press release.
  11. ^ XC-2 Test Aircraft for Japanese Defense Ministry Completes First Flight Kawasaki Heavy Industries, January 26, 2010.
  12. ^ Kubo, Nobuhiro (4 July 2014). "Japan again delays C-2 cargo plane, could hamper overseas push". Reuters (Online) (Reuters). Reuters. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  13. ^ a b [3] Japanese MoD 2011 Budget Summary
  14. ^ Japan's test programme for maritime patrol and transport aircraft under way
  15. ^ Type Certificate Data Sheets, Federal Aviation Administration

External links[edit]