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Japan again delays rollout of C-2 cargo plane

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Oh not again. just buy some from US or EU now and keep working on C-2.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"The delay will increase the C-2 program’s cost by 40 billion yen to 260 billion yen and comes after two previous postponements that have already lengthened the project by three years. "

Our tax dollars hard at work. Thanks, Abe.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

From experience, in general Japanese project management is unimaginative and not very flexible but it gets the job done.

I wonder if the 2 years delay was just due to run-of-the-mill testing issues or the sign that there are fundamental design mistakes just now being discovered?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Alejandro S Arashi. Just imagine, my mother starts to build a new chair, takes her 2 years and 10 overhawls.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Overchan, an aeroplane is a bit more complex than a chair.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Our tax dollars hard at work. Thanks, Abe.

How does it become Abe's fault when the C-2 project started in 2001 when Koizumi was PM? Love how everybody blames things on the boogie monster of the time rather than looking at the true cause of the problem. (BTW, we are taxed in Yen here, not Dollars.)

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Insufficient testing in early stages leading to errors discovered at the last minute. Add lack of previous experience in developing aircraft of this class.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

After researching foreign aircraft like the C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, and Airbus A400M, the Ministry of Defense (Japan) concluded that no aircraft had the capabilities the JASDF required.

As of 2007, the total development cost for the two aircraft has been 345 billion yen (or roughly equal to $2.9 billion)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_C-2

It should be asked how much a role amakudari played in the JASDF deciding that no foreign aircraft had the capabilities the JASDF required and why the other mentioned aircraft did not. Kawasaki Heavy Industries must have made quite the presentation in-order to persuade the JASDF to choose the C-2 and questions should be raised as to how many JASDF officers land cushy jobs in companies that are awarded contracts with the J-gov.

It's well known that this is common place among militaries around the world but the point does need to be raised is a country's best interests and national security being compromised when amakudari and similar practices supersede the selection of the MOST suitable equipment for the job.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan actually did buy US aircraft for that purpose; the C-130 Hercules but even it has weight limits the C-2 will cover, as the article stated for helicopters and missile batteries. I suppose they could buy Globemasters though that's more for moving tanks across the pacific something the JGSDF has not needed until now. The first year delay was due to a shift in funds to the modernization of their F-15J fleet, seen quite rightly as a priority at the time. What with China sending jets all the time. The second delay is still only a year long and nothing compared to other aerospace delays in other countries and so far it's quite minor. We haven't had C-2s falling out of the air yet and I think everyone would prefer this not become another Osprey.

Also relatively speaking the XC-2 program is actually quite cheap, only US$2.9 billion with a unit cost of US$80 million. Compared to the European Airbus Atlas 150 million euro and the Globemaster US$220 million for only slightly less payload. Note: the C-2 is seemingly deliberately underpowered having only two engines instead of four like others probably to keep them from being accused of making something that can carry tanks to another country.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

C-17 that the US was manufacturing at the time is too big making it too expensive. The A-400 in development in Europe is about the same size as the C-2 but still in the development stage and is running massive cost overruns as well. There is the Russian option but I doubt that even the pencil pushers will consider that option.

At the end C-2 was the best bet and still is.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Better safe than 'Osprey Sorry'...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There is the Russian option but I doubt that even the pencil pushers will consider that option.

If you mean the An-70 that never seems to quite make it to the finish line (mostly due to Russian ambivalence), I think it is a shame. The An-70 has the capability to lift the new Type 10 tank and might even stretch to just lift a Type 90 (~3 tons overweight, but might be doable with less fuel or if they took something off the Type 90). It is just what Japan needs, and it'll even be cheap. Plus it'd improve relations with Russia and Ukraine.

Instead, they build a C-2 that seems very far from finishing point, won't lift the Type 10 thus mandating a wheeled "Maneuver Combat Vehicle" (more amakudari!) and now that the thing has to be reinforced (weight), now it is in serious danger of not being able to lift even THAT.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Transporting MBT are never a prioity in heavy lifting air transports since they can only carry one at a time making them bit useless at the battle scene since they are better utilized in battalions.

Also overall weight is not the problem but the density(weight distribution) and if the plane cargo floor is capable in holding up stress where the treads contacts the plane. Basically it like place a very dense but small object on a thin sheet of metal with not many support columns/beams to distribute the weight evenly to the entire floor surface without it, it just drops through making a hole.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SamuraiBlue - I may agree with you but thats not the case, a type 10 weights about 48 tons in 31 square meters. Thats about 1.5 Tons per square meter. Not that much for a plane. They can also add a small platform for the wheels if that becomes a problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Transporting MBT are never a prioity in heavy lifting air transports since they can only carry one at a time making them bit useless at the battle scene since they are better utilized in battalions. Also overall weight is not the problem but the density(weight distribution) and if the plane cargo floor is capable in holding up stress where the treads contacts the plane. Basically it like place a very dense but small object on a thin sheet of metal with not many support columns/beams to distribute the weight evenly to the entire floor surface without it, it just drops through making a hole.

Well, that would depend on how many transports you have. These days, Japanese tank battalions are getting very small (only 28 tanks in two companies now), so with 30 planes you can lift the tanks in the first trip, lift their supporting equipment in the second (or use the C-130s since support equipment is often lighter) and easily have a battalion in place within hours.

You have to remember that if Japan moves MBTs by air, it'd be for intra-Japan ... a short distance compared to America. While America can use one plane to lift one tank a day, with Japan it can be 4-5 a day due to the shorter distances. So the balance of advantage is different.

For the record, the An-70 is officially rated to carry tanks, so the ground pressure of the tank shouldn't be a problem for its floor, nor the Center of Gravity.

Finally, if you deny the validity of carrying tanks, then you must deny the validity of carrying MCVs, which are in essence tank substitutes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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