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Video: Japan’s New Airlifter

Check out this pretty rare footage of the prototype for Japan’s new twin-engine cargo hauler, the Kawasaki XC-2.

The jet is meant to replace Japan’s fleet of C-130 Hercules and Kawasaki C-1s first flew in early 2010 and is currently undergoing flight testing. Designed to operate from 7,000-foot runways while carrying 37-tons of cargo, the jet aesthetically resembles a mini-Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and is powered by the GE CF6 turbofan, the same engine found on Boeing 747s and the re-engined Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

hello August 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Nice plane.


Joe Nogueira August 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Brazil is building a cargo-hauler similer to this one. As a matter of fact they both look
alike but the engine and mecanics must be different.


FormerDirtDart August 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Actually, no, they are not similar. The Embraer KC-390, while a two engine jet cargo plane,is not in the same class as the C-2. The KC-390 is more in line with the C-130J and the future UAC/HAL Il-214.
The Kawasaki C-2 is in the same cargo class as the Airbus A400M, and the former C-141.


OldSarg August 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Bery pretty.


FormerDirtDart August 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

It's unfortunate that Japan's laws restrict the sale of military equipment, they could likely have poached a portion of the A400M orders


blight August 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Damn Russian stuff unreliable compared to Ameri

oh whoops, Japan is an ally.

It's verrrrry nice!


Lance August 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Ironic The Chinese copy the Russian for almost all of there weapons Japan copies our stuff. The plane is a two engined C-17 it looks just like one the F2 is a F-16 copy.


8up1977 August 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

The F2 is an F-16 variant. It was produced with LMCO as a major engineering partner. It is not a "copy"


Nadnerbus August 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Yeah, the difference with the Japanese is they usually pay to license or stuff instead of just stealing it.

Then they lose the classified info.


Christopher Bloom August 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Japan licenses are technology and pay the US defense industry its do unlike China who steal, or courses companys to get technology.


Christopher Bloom August 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Sorry I had a typo meant to use our not are.


OMEGATALON August 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Another reason why the US should withdraw troops from Japan as instead of buying C-130J and/or C-17 to support the US economy, the Japanese government instead funded Kawasaki to develop and build their own transport aircraft.


blight August 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

What, you want all the other nations on welfare begging Uncy Sam for pewpewguns?


FormerDirtDart August 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Not to mention that the C-130J did not meet the needs of the JASDF, and the C-17 was simply more plane than they needed


blight August 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

And that's what indigenous arms industry is for.


Stephen N Russell August 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Can the US lisc to produce some for the US market: Civil & Military.
Nice super plane.
Great for FedEx use.


blight August 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Oh please.

Commercial fliers tend to use cargo variants of widely available jets because they'll be made at large scales and have abundant parts train distribution around the world. This would be a limited build item made only in Japan and would require Kawasaki to set up a global parts distribution system to accomodate.


FormerDirtDart August 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

FedEx has no need, or want to get into the out-sized load market. It is really a very marginal portion of the entire air-cargo market.

Both, the C-5, and C-17 have been marketed to civilian users over the years, and obviously, there was no interest.


Tri-ring August 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Both planes are too expensive for the commercial market.


Dave August 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Civilians generally don't need truck-bed loading height, airdrop capability, cargo compartment re-configurability. All expensive and generally unnecessary. They just need a cargo floor with rollers and can use hi-lift loading equipment anywhere they go.

Every military transport gets marketed as a civilian hauler but nobody ever buys one. Too cheap and easy to use civilian models. Also, civilian planes can often haul heavier dense loads than equivalent military planes — military loads will cube out before they gross out. For example, DC-8s were better for hauling ammunition than C-141s.


William C. August 27, 2011 at 1:05 am

Who shrunk my C-17A?


Melcyna August 27, 2011 at 1:46 am

it’s kinda cute…

a baby Globemaster.


Steve Bailey August 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

If it meets spec's with no development issues, it'll outperform the A400 in terms of payload and range.

Ya gotta wonder sometimes how come these companies don't get together and build it together - Airbus and Kawasaki. You'd think they'd save a ton on development.


Nadnerbus August 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Its called national pride. Same reason everyone in the US gets their panties in a twist when the suggestion of buying a foreign weapon comes up.


Tri-ring August 28, 2011 at 7:13 am

Speed and service ceiling as well since one is a turbo fan while the other being a turbo prop.


Christopher Bloom August 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I thought Japan's constitution makes joint development difficult so working in concert with Airbus problematic.


Tri-ring August 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm

There is no clauses within the constitution, it is a self imposed ban that can change with the policy directed by the elected cabinet .For example the SM-3 Block 2A was a joint development between Japan and the United States. So was the infamous F-2.


Wanlace August 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Looks like they built a version of the old YC-15 demonstrator (same rough size, 4 little vs 2 big engines).


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