Formed in 1918 as subsidiary of heavy-industrial complex Kawasaki Jukogyo to build aircraft and aero engines. Based at Kobe, in the early 1930s built Salmson biplanes and engines as well as own designs. Had Dornier license for all-metal construction, and in December 1924 the first Kawasaki-Dornier Wai flying-boat made a notable flight with a German pilot. Thereafter made aircraft mainly for the Japanese Army. A designer of Kawasaki landplanes was German Dr. Richard Vogt, with the company 1923-1933. Vogt designs were Type 88 reconnaissance biplane (1927), Type 92 single-seat biplane fighter (1930), and Ki-3 single-engined biplane bomber. Japanesedesigned were Ki-10 single-seat fighter biplane (1935), Ki-32 single-engined monoplane bomber (1937), Ki-45 fast and widely used twin-engined fighter (1939), Ki-48 twin-engined light bomber (1939), Ki-61 single-seat fighter (liquid-cooled engine and showing German influence (1941), Ki-100 radial-engined development (1944), and Ki-102 twin-engined fighter (1944).

After the war, in March 1954, a new company of the same name was founded by the merger of Kabushiki Kaisha Kawasaki Gifu Seisakusho and Kawasaki Kikai Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha. The Kawasaki KAL-1 (July 1953) was the first postwar all-metal aircraft of Japanese
Kawasaki Ki-45 ''Toryu'' / ''NICK''
Ki-45 "Toryu"
design. Early production covered 210 Lockheed T-33 jet trainers, 48 Lockheed P-2H Neptunes and 239 Bell Model 47 helicopters, all built under license from the USA. Also made major components for the NAMC YS-11 turboprop transport.

Company reorganized in April 1969 as Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha. In November 1970 flew C-1 twinturbofan military transport, production aircraft later going to the JASDF. Went on to complete 82 P-2Js (derived from Neptune), 211 KH-4 helicopters (derived from the Model 47), 160 KV107 helicopters (derived from the Boeing Vertol 107 Model II), and many Hughes/McDonnell Douglas Model 500D and 0H-6DA helicopters (production continued through 1998). Produced the Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion for the JMSDF; 101 st and final aircraft delivered in 1997, when four EP-3/UP-3D electronic intelligence/training variants remained to be delivered up to the year 2000. Also produced 16 CH-47J examples of Boeing Chinook for the JASDF and is completing delivery of 52 CH-47JAs to the JGSDF. Is prime contractor on the new OH-1 Kogata Kansoku armed scout, observation and attack helicopter (first flown August 1996), and had almost completed manufacture of some 200 T-4 intermediate jet trainers and liaison aircraft for the JASDF by 1998. Also constructs components and assemblies for the the F-15J and various Airbus and Boeing airliners. Is teamed with Eurocopter on the BK117 helicopter, and has engine and space programs.

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Ki-45 "Toryu"
Ki-61 "Hien"