A Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) Kawasaki C-2 airlifter has visited RAAF Bases Amberley and Richmond just weeks after the type made its international airshow in Dubai.
The twin-jet airlifter visited Australia en route to New Zealand, where the type is under consideration for the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s future air mobility requirement to replace the service’s Lockheed C-130H Hercules and Boeing 757-200 transports.
The C-2 had made the type’s international debut at the Dubai Airshow earlier in November, with the United Arab Emirates also reportedly interested in the new GE CF6-powered transport.
The JASDF was due to take delivery of its fourth C-2 this month, out of an original requirement for 40 of the type. The largest aircraft yet built in Japan, the C-2 has been developed to replaced JASDF Kawasaki C-1s and C-130H Hercules.
The C-2 is considerably bigger than the venerable Hercules, with a 141,000kg maximum takeoff weight and the ability to carry a maximum payload of 36,000kg, both figures close to twice those of the C-130H (but much less than the C-17’s 265,000kg MTOW and 77,500kg payload). It has a 4,100nm range with a 20,000kg payload, and cruises at Mach 0.8.
The C-2 was not the first foreign military airlifter to transit Australia en route to New Zealand this year, with the RNZAF’s air mobility contest also attracting a visit by the Embraer KC-390 in July.
Japan has also offered the Kawasaki P-1 maritime surveillance aircraft for New Zealand’s parallel future air surveillance capability requirement.
Below is footage of the C-2 departing Wellington on November 28.
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