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Kawasaki EC-1 – Electronic Warfare Specialist Aircraft With 'The One And Only' Status

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    Kawasaki EC-1 – Electronic Warfare Specialist Aircraft With 'The One And Only' Status

    Having the ability to produce advanced technology, it seems that Japan used it to independently work on reconnaissance aircraft with the function of electronic warfare (electronic warfare). What is meant is the Kawasaki EC-1, which is identical to the duck nose. Even though it is not a new arsenal, there is something unique about EC-1, namely operating 'alone'.

    Called alone, because the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, currently only operates one type of EC-1, and coincidentally, the existing unit is also the only one left, giving a unique identity, because the type of aircraft with similar capabilities, on average owned by more than one unit by other countries.

    Historically, the EC-1 is a variant of the Kawasaki C-1, a twin-jet engined transport aircraft developed and manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). 

    The Kawasaki C-1 was developed starting in 1966 with production starting in 1971. Between 1971 and 1981, the Japanese Air Force sent 31 C-1 units to be deployed to three squadrons, namely 401 Hikotai Squadron in Komaki, 402 Hikotai in Iruma and 403 Hikotai in Miho.

    Since the successor aircraft, the Kawasaki C-2 “Baby Globemaster” began mass production, the number of Kawasaki C-1s has been reduced as the Japanese Air Force prepares to withdraw the type from active service. 

    Currently, the Kawasaki C-1 is only operated by the 1st Airborne Brigade's 402nd Tactical Airlift Squadron at Iruma Air Base, located in the city of Iruma, Saitama Prefecture, about 35 miles (55 km) northwest of Tokyo.

    Well, at the same airbase, it also houses the only Kawasaki EC-1. As an aircraft to fight electronic warfare, the EC-1 is equipped with Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) and other systems to detect and disrupt enemy radar and communication signals.

    Before becoming a jamming specialist, the Kawasaki EC-1 was a modification of the cargo transport aircraft Kawasaki C-1, which was none other than the 21st production C-1 with the serial number 78-1021. Then the aircraft was modified under a contract from the Defense Agency in 1983.

    After modifications were completed, the EC-1 made its first flight in a new configuration in December 1984 and was handed over to the Japanese Air Force for evaluation in January 1985. In June 1986, the EC-1 entered service with the Electronic Warfare Training Unit.

    The Kawasaki EC-1 is equipped with the domestically produced XJ/ALQ-5 ECM and Toshiba ELINT electronic warfare systems (along with American ECM and Elint avionics), and features a distinctive black rounded nose, radome tail, and several protrusions along the fuselage that accommodate a variety of sensors.

    Along with the YS-11EB ELINT aircraft, the plan is for the EC-1 to be replaced by the Kawasaki C-2 Electronic Intelligence (also nicknamed “RC-2”) variant, a heavily modified Kawasaki C-2 tactical transport aircraft with a redesigned nose. large sections and fairings on the top of the tail, fuselage and sides, as well as several antennas under the fuselage..

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