The new intelligence-gathering version of the Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft was spotted in Japan.
In social media were released some photos of new Japanese C-2 ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) aircraft, also called the RC-2, undergoing taxi tests at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force base at Gifu.
According to a local source, the new aircraft is a special version of Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft designed for gathering electronic intelligence (ELINT) and long-range, long-endurance reconnaissance missions. The first C-2 ELINT prototype was re-equipped from the second flight prototype XC-2 (board number 18-1202, serial number 002, first flight in January 2011).
The C-2 ELINT aircraft fitted with cutting-edge optical and electronic equipment and radar systems and has enlarged fairings on the nose, tail, top and sides of the rear fuselage. The bases C-2 aircraft is powered by a pair of General Electric CF6-80C2K turbofan engines and is equipped with a full glass cockpit, fly-by-wire flight controls, a high-precision navigation system, and self-protection systems.
The new aircraft designed to replace NAMC YS-11EB turboprop ELINT aircraft that currently in service with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.