Japan Air Self-Defense Force's (JASDF) C-2 jet-powered transport has made its debut at the Dubai airshow this week, for the first time outside Japan to tap the foreign market.
The C-2 airlifter, which was developed and made in Japan by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, is a successor to the Kawasaki C-1 in both strategic and tactical airlift missions.
“Our potential overseas customers know the C-2 from the internet or from its catalogue, so this is the first time to see the actual aircraft,” Col. Tokukazu Omine, the C-2 program manager for the Japan Air Self Defense Force told Defense News in a Nov 12 interview. “The best way to understand the aircraft is actually seeing it, so we hope for everyone to learn more about the C-2 through this airshow”.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense has spent about ¥260 billion (U.S. $2.3 billion) in development costs on the program, and is under contract for 11 aircraft — although Omine said Japan currently plans to buy about 20 planes. Since March, Kawasaki has delivered three aircraft to the JASDF, with a fourth plane coming this month.
The JASDF ultimately plans to acquire at least 40 aircraft to permit the replacement of its aging Kawasaki C-1 and Lockheed Martin C-130 transports.