The procurement of 12 amphibious Aircraft from Shinmaywa of Japan which has been held up due to bureaucratic procedures in India could face further headwinds following the release of new defence procurement procedures(DPP).
The procurement proposal had gone up to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), India's supreme defence purchase body chaired by the defence minister, which delayed an expected go-ahead to the deal last year for reasons not disclosed.
Sources told defenseworld.net that the original deal had been negotiated under the aegis of a joint working group (JWG) consisting of the Indian and Japanese governments. However, sources assume that the reason why the procurement has been delayed could be because the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) does not have a provision for procurement initiated by a joint working group.
Sources said that the Acceptance of Necessity (AON), a crucial first step in the procurement process had not been initiated by the Indian Navy while floating the request for information in 2011. This could perhaps be the missing link in the bureaucratic chain needed to complete the deal. The Shinmaywa Us-2 aircraft had been selected after a competitive process which involved the Russian Beriev Amphibious aircraft as well.
The sources said that following the purchase proposal's return from the DAC, the Indian Navy had started a fresh process under an organization known as the Services Capital Acquisition Requirement Categorization Board. However, this procedure too had been in conformity with the new DPP released earlier this week.
Shinmaywa sources when contacted by defenseworld.net said, "we are studying the new DDP and how it impacts the US-2 aircraft procurement. We will cooperate with the Indian MoD to bring our proposal in line with the new DPP."
The Indian Navy had sought amphibious aircraft to supply troops and equipment besides conducting search and rescue operations in the seas surrounding the Indian mainland. Currently the navy is dependent upon ships or aircraft that fly into the Andaman and Nicobar or Lakshadweep islands.