By Sangeeta Saxena
Chiba, Japan. 18 March 2023. DSEI Japan is a platform from where the world pronounced Indo-Pacific to be a strong and well prepared region where Japan takes the lead. And Kawasaki, a name which has global recognition, has its hands full not only in creating a defence manufacturing ecosystem in Japan but also trailblazing in state-of-the-art security equipment production. At the event the Japan defence major unveiled Island Defence-the antiship missile and a laser anti drone system.
Kawasaki is active in a diverse range of the aerospace industry. The company is a contractor for the Japanese Ministry of Defense and has built aircraft such as the C-1 transport aircraft, T-4 intermediate jet trainer, and the P-3C antisubmarine warfare patrol airplane. Since 2007, it has built the P-1 maritime patrol aircraft, and since 2010, it has built the C-2 transport aircraft. Kawasaki also builds helicopters, including the BK117, jointly developed and manufactured with MBB. It also produces the CH-47J / JA helicopter.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) unveiled a model of a new long-range cruise missile at the DSEI Japan 2023 at Chiba, called the ‘Island Defence’ anti-ship missile (ASM) which is designed to be launched from the sea, air, land and also from underwater.
Another interesting system which attracted a lot of attention at the stand was a laser anti-drone system designed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries mounted in the body of a Mule Pro-FX and it is already in service with the Japanese airborne forces.
Another role which Kawasaki has is with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The company develops and produces the payload fairings, payload attach fittings (PAF) and the construction of the launch complex for the H-II rocket. Kawasaki has also participated in projects such as the development of reusable launch vehicles for spacecraft that will handle future space transport, space robotics projects such as the Japanese Experiment Module for the International Space Station, the cancelled HOPE-X experimental orbiting plane and the docking mechanism for the ETS-VII.
But the legacy business of Kawasaki is shipbuilding as the company was founded in 1878 as the Kawasaki Dockyard Co. Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Its product range include high-performance LNG and LPG carriers, container ships, bulk carriers and VLCCs, as well as submarines. The company is also involved in the development of offshore structures and research vessels. Kawasaki also produces marine machinery and equipment, including main engines, propulsion systems, steering gears, deck and fishing machinery. Kawasaki has shipyards at Kobe and Sakaide, Kagawa.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries is one of the pioneers when it came to manufacture and sell industrial robots in Japan, the world’s predominant robot manufacturing country. As an all-around engineering company with technologies that serve areas covering land, sea, and air, we have always developed the most advanced robots. It also provides comprehensive customer support to cover the entire life-cycle of a robot, from installation to operation. In 2019 it made news by starting the humanoid robot. But applications in defence and aerospace of this technology were not much projected at DSEI Japan despite Kawasaki Robotics having more than fifty years of existence.
From motorcycles to trains to oil tankers to helicopters to airplanes to missiles to submarines to robots Kawasaki makes them all. It’s association with Japan’s Ministry of Defence and the forces is strong and long standing. And here at DSEI Japan 2023 it showcased this relationship to the utmost.