The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) has displayed the newly designed and produced Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft at the Dubai Airshow, and hopes to export the aircraft to the Gulf region.
On 14 November, Colonel Tokukazu Omine, the C-2 programme manager for the MoD, told Jane’s that Japan anticipates strong interest in the C-2 in the wider Gulf region, particularly from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.
“We have not yet decided to which countries we can export and not export, but once we receive a request from a certain country we can then decide to export or not based on our security values,” Col Omine said.
The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) produced the C-2 to replace the ageing C-1 that has been in service for more than 40 years, deciding against procuring a platform from overseas. “We studied several options to replace C-1, [and] found the [Lockheed Martin] C-130 to be too small for our international missions and the [Boeing] C-17 to be too heavy, which would limit the numbers of airports where it could land and take-off, so we decided to produce our own one C-2,” the colonel noted.
The JASDF said that the C-2 perfectly fits the service’s operational requirements in terms of payload, take-off and landing distances, range, and maximum cruise speed. The aircraft is approximately twice as large as the C-130H, and approximately half as large as the C-17 in terms take-off weight. The C-2 can transport 110 passengers using fixed sidewall seats, and can carry large cargo and a medium-sized helicopter.
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