Home > Aircraft > Kawasaki C-1

Kawasaki C-1

Tactical transport aircraft

Kawasaki C-1

The Kawasaki C-1 is due to be replaced with the new C-2 medium-range cargo aircraft

Country of origin Japan
Entered service 1974
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 29 m
Wing span 30.6 m
Height 9.99 m
Weight (empty) 23.32 t
Weight (maximum take off) 38.7 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x Pratt & Whitney JT8D-M-9 turbofan
Traction 2 x 64.5 kN
Maximum speed 806 km/h
Cruising speed 657 km/h
Service ceiling 11.6 km
Range (with maximum fuel) ?
Range (with maximum payload) 1 300 km
Ferry range 3 300 km
Maximum payload 11.9 t
Troops 60 troops, or 45 paratroops or 36 litters with medical attendants
Vehicles 3 light utility vehicles or one light truck
Cargo compartment dimensions ?


   The Kawasaki C-1 is a short-range military transport aircraft, used by Japan Air Self-Defense Forces (JASDF). Development began in 1966. This aircraft was developed to meet the JASDF requirement to replace the previous fleet of World War II era transports, such as Curtis C-46 Commando. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules was initially considered, but it was instead decided to develop an indigenous transport aircraft. As the Japanese Islands did not present a very large geographical area, the JASDF opted for a short-haul aircraft with a relatively light payload. The NAMC (Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation) consortium was assigned to develop this aircraft. Kawasaki Heavy Industries was the prime contractor and carried out most of the work. The XC-1 prototype made its first flight in 1970. Production commenced in 1971. The first operational aircraft was formally introduced into JASDF service in 1974. The final production C-1 model was delivered in 1981. Only 31 airframes were built, not including prototypes and a few specialized aircraft. The C-1 was assigned to two formations in the JASDF; the 402nd and 403rd Transport Squadrons. As of 2014, the JASDF is slowly beginning to phase-out the C-1 from active service. It is planned that they will be replaced with the new Kawasaki C-2 tactical airlifter.

   This aircraft has a maximum payload capacity of 11.9 t. Range of this aircraft with maximum payload is only 1 300 km. Range of this aircraft was deliberately cut-down in order to keep aircraft operational range inside Japan. It was done in order to comply with Japanese policies not to have offensive capabilities.

   The JASDF had actually planned to acquire more C-1s, but when the US military formally ended its occupation of Okinawa Islands in 1972, a problem surfaced; the C-1 had too short a range to carry a useful payload between Kyushu and Okinawa. So production of the C-1 had been reduced. As a result, the JASDF ultimately ended up purchasing American C-130 Hercules tactical airlifter, and much of the payment for them was taken from the C-1's funding.

   The C-1 can carry 60 passengers, or 45 paratroops, or 36 litters with medical attendants. A wide range of loads can be carried thanks to its roll-on, roll-off capability. One light truck or up to three jeeps can also be carried. It is unknown if the C-1 can carry any armored vehicles.

   It was also planned that the C-1 would be employed by the JMSDF for mine-laying purposes, but it is unclear if this plan was carried-out. It is also unclear if the aircraft used were regular C-1s, or a specialized sub-variant (and if the latter is the case, its designation has never been published).

   This tactical aircraft requires only 2 200 m to take-off from a hardened runway, or 1 200 m of runway to land.

   This cargo aircraft is operated by a crew of 5, including two pilots, flight engineer and loadmaster.

   The Kawasaki C-1 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-M-9 turbofan engines. These were license-produced in Japan by Mitsubishi.

   The unit cost of the C-1 is $47 Million, though it is in service only with Japan, and is not offered for export. Given that production has long-since been terminated, and that the Japanese government is extremely reluctant to export military hardware, it is doubtful that the C-1 will ever see foreign service.

   Several specialized military variants had been planned, including reconnaissance and tanker versions, but the aforementioned production cuts effectively doomed these off-shoots.

   In 2016 a new Kawasaki C-2 became operational with the JASDF. The C-1 formed design basis for the C-2, though these aircraft are not directly related. The C-2 can carry much more cargo (up to 37.6 t) and has a longer range. Eventually it will fully replace the Kawasaki C-1 and Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules tactical cargo aircraft.




   XC-1 prototypes for the C-1 series.

   C-1, basic production version. 26 of these aircraft were built.

   C-1A, has a larger fuel capacity. 5 of these aircraft were built. Almost certainly these aircraft were built in response to the Okinawa dilemma.

   EC-1, electronic warfare variant, reportedly used for training purposes.

   C-1FTB, a flight testbed aircraft, used for testing equipment in mid-air.

   Asuka/QSTOL, an experimental aircraft, used to evaluate low-noise features and Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities. Only one aircraft was built and it is now retired.


   Updated information was sent us by BLACKTAIL

   Thank you Blacktail!

    Want to send us your own articles? Visit our guidelines for more information.

Kawasaki C-1

Expand image

Kawasaki C-1

Expand image

Kawasaki C-1

Expand image

Kawasaki C-1

Expand image




Personal appeal from Andrius Genys
Please Read

Top 10 Fighter Aircraft
Top 10 Fighter Aircraft

Top 10 Military Transport Aircraft
Top 10 Largest Military Transports

Home  Home     Aircraft     Helicopters     Tanks     Armored Vehicles     Artillery     Trucks     Engineering Vehicles     Missiles     Naval Forces     Firearms     |     Contact Us

ARG 2006 - 2021