Kawasaki C-2

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).

Kawasaki C-2
Class Aircraft
Type Transport
Manufacturer Kawasaki Aerospace Company
Origin Japan
Country Name Origin Year
Japan 2010
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Kawasaki Aerospace Company 40 View

After researching foreign aircraft like the C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, and Airbus A400M, the Ministry of Defense 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.

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.

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.

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 first flight 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.

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.

The aircraft is being developed to meet the following requirements of the Ministry of Defense: a minimum payload of 26 tonnes, 120 short 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 short tons (75,200 lb 34.1 metric tonnes) whilst taking off from a 2300m Take-off Field Length at a 141 short ton (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 aerial refuelling and forward looking infrared systems.

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 2 prototype (40~planned)
Unit cost approx. 14 billion yen / 136 million US dollars

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3: 2 pilots, 1 loadmaster
  • Capacity:
    Field Operation System or
    Truck Crane or
    8 463L Pallets or
    1 UH-60JA helicopter or
    1 Maneuver Combat Vehicle wheeled tank destroyer
  • Payload: 37,600 kg (37.6 tonnes) (84,000 lb)
  • Length: 43.9 m (144 ft)
  • Wingspan: 44.4 m (145 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 14.2 m (46 ft 7 in)
  • Empty weight: 60,800 kg (133,920 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 141,400 kg (265,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × GE CF6-80C2K1F, 59,740 lbf (266 kN) each


  • Cruise speed: Mach 0.8 (550 mph, 890 km/h)
  • Range: 6500 km (4,039 mi; 3,510 nmi) at max payload
  • Ferry range: 10,000 km (6,214 mi; 5,400 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,200 m (40,000 ft)

End notes