SINGAPORE — The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) is hoping that Kawasaki Heavy Industries can ramp up production of C-2 military transports once first deliveries start.
The C-2s are crucial because the air force’s Kawasaki C-1s were first developed in the 1960s and will need to be retired, says Lt. Col. Hiroshi Kawaguchi of the JASDF transportation office. He says there is no way the C-1s can be viable in the long term because they have Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines. This engine type is also on the Boeing 737-200, says Kawaguchi, referring to an aircraft version that most airlines have phased out.
NAMC YS-11 (photo : Scramble)
Some of the air force’s YS-11s have an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) role, Kaneko says, adding that there is a plan to equip some C-2s for ISR.
Kaneko and Kawaguchi spoke to Aviation Week on the sidelines of the Military Airlift Asia Pacific conference in Singapore last week.