Japan's Kawasaki C-2 at 2019 Avalon Airshow
IndraStra Global

Japan's Kawasaki C-2 at 2019 Avalon Airshow

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: Kawasaki C-2 landing at Avalon Airport in Australia, during 2019 Avalon / Source: YouTube Screengrab

Image Attribute: Kawasaki C-2 landing at Avalon Airport in Australia, during 2019 Avalon / Source: YouTube Screengrab

During 2019 Avalon Airshow (Feb. 26 - Mar. 3, 2019) in Australia, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) exhibited its Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft. Avalon 2019 is the largest airshow in the southern hemisphere and one of the top five in the world. This year, a record 347 aircraft participated, combined with an additional 600 visiting aircraft. 

The Kawasaki C-2 (previously known as XC-2 and C-X) is a mid-size, twin-turbofan engine, long range, high-speed military transport aircraft developed and manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Aerospace Company, an aerospace division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. It features a high wing monoplane design - 43.9m-long, 44.4m-wide, and 14.2m-high. It entered into the service with JASDF in June 2016, features a cruising range of  4,722 m (7,600 km) with a maximum speed of 553 mi/hr (890km/hr) and can carry a payload of 30 tons. 

The aircraft is powered by a pair of General Electric CF6-80C2K turbofan engines. While sharing fuselage components with the Kawasaki P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA)*, the fuselage of the C-2's is substantially larger to accommodate a vast internal cargo deck, which is furnished with an automated loading/unloading system to reduce workloads on personnel and ground equipment.


Image Attribute: General Electric CF6-80C2K1F Engine at JASDF Gifu Air Base October 30, 2016, / Source: Wikipedia (fr)

Kawasaki has developed a new carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) material for aircraft, called KMS-6115 which combines the latest high-performance industrial carbon fiber with low-cost epoxy resins that feature high tenacity. It has been used to manufacture the forward fuselage and horizontal stabilizer of the aircraft. Also, the C-2 is equipped with an avionics suite which includes full glass cockpit, fly-by-wire flight controls, a high-precision navigation system, tactical flight management system, self-protection systems, night vision system and in-flight refueling facility. The aircraft is also equipped with an automatic loading and unloading system for handling cargo.

POSSIBLE FOREIGN SALES

During the show,  a company representative confirmed that Japan will offer its C-2 transport aircraft to New Zealand for the country’s Future Air Mobility Capability (FAMC) program. 

Earlier in August 2017, as per the local media reports, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) approached Japan to buy several C-2s and initiated the negotiation. Later in May 2018, both the countries signed a defense cooperation agreement. The agreement is expected to bypass Japan's current clause which prohibits exports of defense equipment and technology to countries engaged in conflict (in the case of UAE, its Yemeni conflict).

The C-2, in the strategic airlift role, is expected to compete directly with Airbus A400M Atlas and the Ilyushin Il-76.

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* P-1 MPA made its international debut at the 2017 Paris Air Show.