Mahindra Defence, part of the Mahindra Group, has been selected as the local partner for Japanese aircraft maker ShinMaywa’s manufacturing and related operations for its US-2 seaplane in India.
The amphibious aircraft can be used for both civilian and military purposes and the Indian Navy is expected to be among the customers for the same in India.
India and Japan inked a $1.65 billion deal to facilitate the export of the amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft to India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country two years ago.
“Both ShinMaywa and Mahindra Defence have entered into this partnership with a view to set up MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) services in India and also undertake manufacturing, assembling of structural parts & components for US-2 amphibian aircraft etc,” the Indian company said.
It said the two companies are confident of delivering solutions for this aircraft as mandated by the Indian Ministry of Defence.
“India and Japan are now discussing the methodology of procurement of Amphibian Aircraft US-2 requirements of the Indian Navy. Both nations are working on the way forward to induct this aircraft in India,” Mahindra Defence said.
The deal marks yet another partnership between global defense majors and local companies.
SP Shukla, head of Aerospace & Defence Sector for Mahindra Group and chairman of Mahindra Defence said the move is a boost for MRO and maintenance services in the Indian defence aerospace sector.
“We are committed to absorbing maintenance TOT (transfer of technology) for this large amphibious aircraft in India.”
The Japanese company said the aircraft is especially useful to ensure the safety and security of sea lines of communication, long range fleet support and island/off shore assets support functions.
“These missions when combined in a single multimodal platform such as the US-2 can earn for India the precious goodwill of nations of the Indian Ocean region commensurate with its identity as a responsible rising power. Japan Maritime Defence Force have extensively used this aircraft for many years now,” it said.
This MOU also envisages both the companies to build up a strategic partnership for future versions of US-2 amphibian aircraft.
The aircraft can deal with rough seas of up to 3m wave height, riverine and lake landing and has long endurance and extended radius of operations with large payload capacity, the Indian company said.
It can be used for civilian uses as well as coastal surveillance and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) missions of the Indian Navy.
The ShinMaywa US-2 fleet is deployed by Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces across their remote islands chain for Exclusive Economic Zones protection, surveillance and Search & rescue operations.