Kawasaki C-X

The Kawasaki C-X is the next generation transport aircraft developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries for the Japanese Self-Defence Force (JSDF).
It is planned to replace the aging Kawasaki C-1 and C-130 Hercules.
The Japanese Air Self Defense Force plans to buy anywhere between 30 to 50 aircraft to replace its transport aircraft fleet.


In 2001, the Japan Defense Agency(today, the Ministry of Defense) had decided on buying a new transport aircraft to replace its aging C-1s. After researching foreign aircraft like the C-130J, C-17, and Airbus A400M, the JDA concluded that no aircraft had the capabilities the JASDF required. The JDA decided to develop its own transport aircraft.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries was chosen to develop the aircraft, along with the P-X to cut costs. 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)

The aircraft is being developed to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Defense. The payload requirement of 26 metric tons . Recent information from the Defense Clearance suggest a payload of more than 30 metric tons, but the exact numbers are not revealed at this point. These requirements are for a 120 ton take-off weight, since the JASDF needs to land the transport on short runways (i.e. Tachikawa - 900m). With a runway of 2300m and at Maximum take off weight of about 141tons, the aircraft will be able to carry a maximum of 37.6tons. It will also have a maximum range of 10,000km (without payload).

The aircraft will be also notable to have flight performances that will make it fly on commercial airliner routes. Past aircraft like the C-130 were not capable of this, and the JASDF had troubles sending its own on foreign evacuation missions.

Two CF6-80C2 engines have been selected for the engines, which are the same for the Boeing KC-767 and E-767 which the JASDF also operate.

The C-X also will have a new tactical flight management system which assists the pilot at low level flight. The aircraft will also be equipped with an automatic load on/off system in the cargo bay. Air refueling systems and night vision will also be incorporated.

There has been a problem on 3,663 American made rivets and the roll-out was delayed, but the aircraft was rolled out on July 4, 2007 with its sister aircraft P-X (now XP-1).

In May, 2007, tests showed incorrect deformation of the horizontal stabilizer. An investigation showed that the C-X was predicted to have the same fault. In July of that year, further tests showed in the C-X showed cracks around the main landing gear and portions of the fuselage. First flight has been postponed to December of 2007.

According to Yomiuri, the aircraft costs about 10 billion YEN per plane (about US$80 million). Because the new fighter program F-X has been postponed, the JASDF has decided to increase funding for the F-15Jkai, and procurement of C-X will been postponed for about a year.

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Related Aircraft

similar Aircraft

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