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Kawasaki OH-1

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The Kawasaki OH-1 (nickname: "Ninja") is a military scout/observation helicopter developed and manufactured by the Kawasaki Aerospace Company. The primary operator is the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), who originally procured the OH-1 as a domestically-produced successor to their existing OH-6D Loach fleet. The OH-1 has the distinction of being the first helicopter to be entirely produced in Japan.

In addition to its use an observation helicopter, it can also be armed with various munitions to directly participate in combat; such weapons include a limited quantity of anti-tank missiles or air-to-air missiles for self-defense purposes. Several variants of the OH-1 have been proposed, these have included derivatives of the type to serve as an attack helicopter as well as an aborted project to develop utility helicopter based on OH-1. As of March 2014, a total of 38 OH-1s have entered service with the JGSDF, so far these have complemented the existing OH-6Ds rather than replaced them.


  • XOH-1: Prototype version
  • OH-1: Production model, used as an observation helicopter
  • AH-2: Proposed attack helicopter derivative that would have featured uprated engines and additional anti-tank armaments; rejected in favor of Boeing AH-64 Apache.


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