Economy

Navy set to get amphibious aircraft from Japanese co

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on January 03, 2016

modi-abe   -  REUTERS

The supply is result of pact between Japan and India signed last month



The Indian Navy is looking to acquire 12 US-2i (Utility Seaplane Mark 2) amphibious aircraft from ShinMaywa Industries, Japan.

Both the countries recently inked an agreement to facilitate the export of the amphibious search-and-rescue (SAR) aircraft to India. The deal is estimated at $1.65 billion.

Sources indicated that during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India on December 12, the two countries signed an accord related to the ‘transfer of defence equipment and technology co-operation’.

Joint research

The “agreement provides a framework to enhance defence and security co-operation by making available to each other, defence equipment and technology necessary to implement joint research, development and production,” sources pointed out.

The Indian signatory to the accord was S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary, while Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, was the Japanese signatory.

Security measures

Another agreement was signed concerning security measures for the protection of classified military information, between Indian signatory G Mohan Kumar, Defence Secretary, and Hiramatsu.

The two countries had earlier expressed their intention to explore potential future projects on defence equipment and technology cooperation such as US-2 amphibious aircraft. ShinMaywa Industries, the manufacturer of the US-2 amphibious aircraft, has already initiated discussions with several Indian companies to reportedly assemble the aircraft in India.

Some of the names include Mahindra Defence, Hindustan Aeronautics, Tata Aerospace, L&T and Pipavav Defence.

The version that is being offered to India is the US-2i. Sources indicated that the basic capability of the US-2i aircraft that India has asked for is the same as the US-2.

Only certain equipment changes have been made to cater to the Indian Navy’s role requirement, according to the RFI (request for information).

Two-decade presence

Incidentally, ShinMaywa Industries has been present in India for around 20 years, and provided aerobridges for airports and has set up waste water treatment pumps across the country.

The US-2 is the first Japanese aircraft offered to India.

Sources said two US-2i would be imported first, off-the-shelf, while the other 10 would be manufactured in India, under technology transfer arrangements by ShinMaywa Industries with an Indian partner.

Currently, the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force currently operates seven US-2s.

Published on January 03, 2016
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