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JUNE 2021

C-2 Medium-Range Transport Aircraft (Infographics)

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C-2 Medium-Range Transport Aircraft (Infographics)

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The C-2 is a medium-range transport aircraft developed by Kawasaki Aerospace Company for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

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SnowCatzor

The C-2 fits a good niche between large strategic lifters like the C-17 and small tactical lifters like the C-130. The only other comparable aircraft would be the A400M, which is way too expensive, prop-powered (slow) and is plagued by technical issues.

It’s really surprising they haven’t had any export orders yet.

Lone Ranger

The A400 isnt slow.
Its cruise speed is only slightly lower than that of the C17.
Aside from that its a relative new plane, technical issues are normal at this stage.
Turboprops have a lot of advantage over jet powered planes.

SnowCatzor

Well to start with the C-2 costs $136 million vs A400M’s $180-$206 million.

Cruise speed: C-2 = 890km/h vs A400M = 781km/h (109km/h difference).
Range at 20 tons: C-2 = 7,600 km vs A400M = 6400 km (1200 km difference).
Max payload: C-2 = 37.6 t vs A400M = 37 t (0.6t difference).

And it can do all this whilst being slightly smaller and only needing two engines (less maintenance). Basically the C-2 is better than the A400M in pretty much every way possible. In fact for the price of an A400M, you could almost buy a C-17, which begs the question as to why anyone would buy it.

The A400M is basically a repeat of the Eurofighter project (or the F-35). Europe needs to go back to building things as individual nations instead of as pan-European projects (you can blame the EU’s obsession with federalism for that).

Lone Ranger

Turboprops have more torque at slow speeds, are more maneuverable, need less maintenance, can land on dirt and snow fields.
Overall the A400 is better, the difference in listed performance is negliable.

SnowCatzor

Jet turbine aircraft can land in austere conditions too (C-17s can land in Antarctica and IL-76s can land in Siberia), plus they don’t really need alot of maneuverability – they’re just transports.

As for maintenance: it’s still two engines vs four engines, so it’s likely no easier to maintain even if each turbo prop requires less.

Those numbers are certainly not negligible either, but regardless, they still prove the C-2 is better. Seriously, I can’t even find one area where the A400M is better.

Lone Ranger

I just listed them…

Lone Ranger

Japanese never export military tech.

SnowCatzor

They have actively marketed it overseas, so yes they do.

Lone Ranger

Well thats new.
Non the less sofar only Japan is using it.

Rodion_Romanovic

If Russia decides to go ahead with the Tu-330, it would cover the lower band of the same niche (the proposed il276 is instead a bit smaller and with the same payload of the turboprop powered C-130 and of the Soviet An-12 (by the way, the Chineses still produce a copy of the An-12 under the name Y-8 and Y-9)).

In the same niche (but a bit smaller than the Tu330 there is also the brasilian Embraer C-390).

And on the upper band of this niche there is the Russian il-76 (with the latest upgrade capable of carrying up to 60 tons).

The other aircraft that would have been perfect in this niche was also the An70 (from the public available data it seemed to be a better version of the A400M).
Unfortunately the An-70 was killed (together with the rest of Antonov aircraft industry) by the political decision of Ukraine, as the airplane was jointly designed by Russia and Ukraine and its main customer would have been the Russian air force.

Lone Ranger

Good little plane.
Good design.

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