20 Juli 2011

Japanese AF Calls For Speedy C-2 Deliveries

20 Juli 2011

Kawasaki C2 (Photo : Katsunori Kimura)

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.

Kawasaki C1 (photo : Kazuteru Sugawara)

Col. Shinichi Kaneko, head of the JASDF weapons systems programs division, says the air force has ordered 20 C-2s and the first will be delivered in Japan’s 2014 fiscal year. Currently the C-2 is in its test program, Kaneko says, adding that the two flight-test aircraft are now flying. Another two have been built for structural testing.

The C-2, a high-wing transport powered by two General Electric CF6-80C2s, also will replace some of the service’s NAMC YS-11s, Kaneko says.

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.

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