Japan to Convert C-2 into Gunship

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Japan to Convert C-2 into Gunship
The Japanese Ministry of Defence plans to launch a long-range missile from a Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft as part of its defence strategy.

The Ministry allocated a budget of ¥3.6 billion (25 million USD) to study the solution in the fiscal 2023 budget. Technical research is expected to begin in fiscal year 2024.
The Kawasaki C-2, powered by two General Electric CF6 engines, can carry a maximum load of 37.6 tons over a distance of approximately 4,500 kilometres. Its operational range can reach up to 7600 km with a payload of 20 tons. Such aircraft can carry more missiles over a more extended range than the Japan Air Self-Defence Force’s (JASDF) F-15J or F-35.

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The heavy lifter will be armed with AGM-158 JASSM and an air-launched version of Type 12 anti-ship missile currently being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The AGM-158 JASSM is a stand-off stealth missile with a range of 900 kilometres. The Type 12 surface-to-surface guided missile has a range of 1,000 kilometres. The missiles’ engines would be activated after launch, reducing the need for extensive modifications to the aircraft.
A similar system was developed by the United States Air Force for transport aircraft such as the C-130 transport aircraft is coded AC-130. The AC-130 aircraft is a heavily armed, long-endurance, ground-attack variant of the Super Hercules.

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