Defence ProAc Biz News interacted with Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi on the US-2i Amphibious Aircraft that India is looking to purchase. Here are some excerpts—
Defence ProAc (DPA): What is the update on the US-2i amphibious aircraft that India is looking to purchase?
Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi: The project is under discussion between the two governments at the moment and is being given high priority. We believe that all queries of MoD and MoD (finance) have now been responded adequately by the Navy after taking requisite response from ShinMaywa Industries. Government of Japan in response to the questions addressed to them has shown positive intent and details are being discussed between both sides.
DPA: What sort of capabilities does the US-2i possess?
Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi: The US-2 has an ability to operate in sea state 5, landing take off distances at about 300m, transit speeds in excess of 580kmph and a range of 4700km there is no other aircraft in its class. Combined with the world's only Boundary Layer Control (BLC) system on a cargo and transport aircraft, spray suppression features, marinised AE 2100 engines, glass cockpits, pressurized cabins and highly sophisticated surveillance and communication suite the US-2 stands out as a product of renowned Japanese technology. The US-2 has proven credentials of successful operations in open sea condition upto sea state 5 with wave height of 3mtrs at a distance of about 1900km from mainland Japan. The large payload and high transit speeds permit the positioning of security personnel at desired spot as and when it is required.
DPA: What sort of number of aircraft are we looking at if the deal were to materialize?
Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi: The total requirement is not known however as the first lot a total of Six aircraft has been indicated by Indian Navy.
DPA: What will be the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) plan of ShinMaywa?
Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi: ShinMaywa Industries believes in supporting our customers as per their requirements. Accordingly we have planned to set up the MRO facilities in India with support from Indian industries. We are also open to provide any kind of maintenance that Indian Navy/MoD requires from us.
DPA: Will all the aircraft be purchased in a fly-away condition or will ShinMaywa manufacture and assemble them in India?
Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi: Manufacturing in India will depend on the kind of numbers we get. At the moment, given the numbers we are told, it doesn't look economically viable option. However parts manufacturing and some very advanced technologies/ capabilities involved will come to Indian industries.
DPA: Does ShinMaywa intend to offer any other product to India?
Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi: For the defence sector US-2 is the only product we offer. However as an industry we have many other products which are already in use in India.
DPA: Will the US-2i be getting any India-specific changes?
Mr. Yasuo Kawanishi: This entirely depends on the two governments and what they agree regarding India specific equipment. We will provide the technological view and assistance that is expected of us. If the equipment is feasible to be installed and the GoJ gives us the necessary directive / clearance then it will be installed.
Article published in Magazine issue “Mar-Apr 2018 “