MELBOURNE, Australia — Kawasaki Heavy Industries will offer its C-2 transport aircraft to New Zealand for the country’s Future Air Mobility Capability, or FAMC, program, a company representative confirmed Tuesday.
New Zealand has a requirement to replace its aging Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules and Boeing 757-200C aircraft with a new capability. The FAMC program seeks to deliver a strategic and tactical airlift capability, which may involve a mix of two different aircraft types, or a single type able to meet essential requirements in both roles.
Speaking at the 2019 Avalon Airshow, the official said that Kawasaki Heavy Industries, or KHI, had been in discussion with the Royal New Zealand Air Force for several years regarding its requirements.
“We have just started marketing the aircraft,” the official said. “We expect the C-2 to be in production for at least 10 years."
A C-2 from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 3rd Tactical Airlift Wing is on static display at Avalon, and one aircraft had visited New Zealand in November 2017.
The C-2 has been designed against JASDF requirements for an airlifter capable of both strategic and tactical missions to replace the existing Kawasaki C-1 aircraft. Seven aircraft and two prototypes have been delivered to date, against an ultimate requirement of between 20 and 30 aircraft. The aircraft entered service with the JASDF in March 2017, and the official revealed that KHI recently delivered the seventh aircraft to the customer.
The official also said KHI was in discussion with “several other countries” regarding C-2 sales, but he declined to name a specific nation or region. He said the company was consulting with the Japan Defense Agency and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko for export approvals.
Nigel Pittaway is the Australia correspondent for Defense News.