India and Japan are close to signing a deal to supply amphibious planes to India making this the first sale “of hardware used by the military since a weapons export ban was imposed”, according to reports.
With Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh currently on a four-day visit to Tokyo, both parties are set put in motion the purchase of the US-2, a domestically-developed aircraft used by Japan's armed forces.
In an interview with Defenseworld.net earlier this year, Director & CEO of ShinMaywa India, Sujeet Samaddar, said, “Unfortunately there in no competition, this technology is very advanced and is forward looking. The technology used on the aircraft can and will meet global competition”.
He added, “Offsets for us are an opportunity, not a burden.
The sale would be the first of a finished product made by Japan's homegrown defence industry since rules were imposed restricting the export of weapons systems and other equipment, according to Nikkei business daily.
The aircraft is designed for air-sea rescue missions, is equipped with a glass cockpit with integrated instrument panel. A single LCD panel integrates the digitalised meters. The aircraft incorporates fly-by-wire flight control system. The computerised flight system improves the safety and controllability of the aircraft.
The US-2 aircraft can fly at a maximum altitude of over 6,000m. It has the cruising speed of 480km/h and maximum speed of 560km/h. The maximum range of the aircraft is over 4,500km. The maximum take-off weights of the aircraft on land and water are 47.7t and 43t respectively.