Apr 26, 2011

Japan Ministry of Defense first transport aircraft Kawasaki C-2

Japan Ministry of Defense first transport aircraft Kawasaki C-2

Japan Ministry of Defense concluded that no aircraft had the capabilities the JASDF required. The Japan Ministry of Defense decided to develop its own transport aircraft. In 2001, the Japan Ministry of Defense had decided on buying a new transport aircraft, planning to buy 40 aircraft to replace its aging Kawasaki C-1 and C-130 Hercules fleets.

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 power plant 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

During the construction of the first prototype there was been a problem with some American made rivets which delayed the roll-out to July 4, 2007 along with its cousin aircraft P-X (now XP-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 modernisastion 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 with out problems and the aircraft delivered to the Japanese Defence Ministry on 30 March 2010

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