No. 9959. Kawasaki T-4 (46-5714 c/n 1114) Japan Air Self-Defense Forces
Photographed at Iruma Air Base, Sayama, Japan, November 8, 2004, by Loet Kuipers

Kawasaki T-4

08/31/2010. Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd) was named by the Japan Defense Agency on September 4, 1981 as the prime contractor to develop a new intermediate trainer to replace Lockheed
T-33As and Fuji T-1A/Bs in service with the JASDF. The designation XT-4 was allocated officially to the type during its development. Funding was approved in the FY 1983 and 1984 defense budgets to procure four flying prototypes.

The T-4 was based on Kawasaki's KA-851 design, by an engineering team led by Kohki Isozaki. The twin-engined T-4 was required to have high subsonic maneuverability, and to be able to carry external loads under the wings and fuselage. Basic design studies were completed in October 1982, and prototype construction began in April 1984. The first XT-4 (s/n 56-5601) made its first flight on July 29, 1985, and all four prototypes were delivered between December 1985 and July 1986, preceded by static and fatigue test aircraft.

Mitsubishi (centre fuselage and engine air intakes) and Fuji (rear fuselage, wings and tail unit) each had a 30 percent share in the production program. Kawasaki, as prime contractor, built the forward fuselage, and was responsible for final assembly and flight test. Ishikawajima-Harima delivered the 3,680 lb (1,669 kg) F3-IHI-30 turbofans. Production began in FY 1986, and the first production T-4 made its initial flight on June 28, 1988. Deliveries started on September 20, 1988, and a total of 212 aircraft were produced.

Since 1995 the JASDF Display Team 'Blue Impulse' is using the T-4, the team is part of 11 Hikotai (Squadron), while the pictured aircraft, wearing a JASDF 50th anniversary (1954-2004) color scheme, is assigned to 204 Hikotai.

Created August 31, 2010