India proposes to acquire Japanese amphibious aircraft

06 Nov 2016 | Written by Supriya Kaur; Edited by NewsBytes Desk

India has declared its intention to acquire a dozen ShinMaywa amphibious-aircraft worth Rs. 10,000 crore, from Japan.

The proposal to acquire ShinMaywa US-2i (US-2i) comes shortly before PM Modi's Tokyo visit.

Discussions pertaining to US-2i's acquisition are expected to be a major highlight of the summit.

US-2i related negotiations between both countries have been ongoing since 2013 but had stalled due to high-costs.

In context: India and Japan take steps to strengthen strategic-partnership

November 11 - 13Narendra Modi's trip to Tokyo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be travelling to Tokyo, Japan on November 11 for the annual India-Japan bilateral summit.

Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe are expected to sign the much-awaited nuclear cooperation pact during Modi's visit.

Modi and Abe are also expected to discuss acquisition of Japanese military hardware.

Both countries are expanding their strategic partnership in light of China's increasing aggressiveness.

SignificanceIndo-Japan civil nuclear pact

The Indo-Japan nuclear treaty will allow Japan to export nuclear power-plants to India.

This would be the first time that Japan will execute a nuclear cooperation pact with a country that isn't a signatory of the non-proliferation treaty.

A pact with Japan will make it easier for American companies like, GE and Westinghouse, to set-up atomic plants in India as they have Japanese investors.

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06 Nov 2016India proposes to acquire Japanese amphibious aircraft

First military hardware deal with Japan

If the ShinMaywa aircraft deal worth nearly $2.1 billion goes through, this would be India's first arms related acquisition from Japan after it ended its self-imposed embargo on exporting military hardware.

AboutThe ShinMaywa US - 2i

The Japanese US-2i aircraft is essentially meant for search and rescue operations; it's capable of taking-off from land as well as water.

The amphibious aircraft is powered by four big turbo-props which can also be used to speedily transport combat-ready soldiers to "hot-zones".

Japan has offered to set up manufacturing plants for aircraft spares and re-exports for US-2i in India under the 'Make-in-India' scheme.

Needed by Navy and coast guard

Reports suggest the US-2i will be put to use by the Indian Navy and the coast guard; both are seeking 12-18 of these platforms to expand their capabilities and their reach. Final discussion are underway at the Defence Ministry as Japan has offered significant price-concessions.
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Japan has pledged to develop access routes for Afghanistan to use the services at Chabahar port, while India, Iran and Afghanistan are working on developing transit corridors for the strategically located port.

India's ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra welcomed Japan's engagement in the project.