ShinMaywa all set to clinch amphibious deal
ShinMaywa Industries is upbeat as during the recent Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan the offer of ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft to the Indian Navy figured in the discussions. “That is a good sign,” said the company’s Executive Officer Kanji Ishimaru on the sidelines of NAMEXPO 2013 in Kochi.
It is almost two years since ShinMaywa established its presence in India responding to the request for information (RFI) of the Indian Navy for nine amphibious aircraft. “We are confident as our product is the best as it has multi-role capabilities – remote island support, search and rescue, anti-piracy, outer sea operations among others.” It is not weaponised.
Ishimaru told SP’s M.A.I. that the company was looking for an Indian collaborator to meet the offset requirements. “The offset requirements are challenging and we are looking for a partner in the maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) segment.” Taking the exam- ple of Suzuki which made the first major breakthrough in India and found success, he said that ShinMaywa was enthused by the Indian market. “Like Suzuki we are looking for long-term relationship.”
Talking about the capabilities of the US-2, he mentioned that no other amphibious aircraft had outer sea landing capabilities, landing when the waves were even 3 metres high, compared to the competitors who could max 1.2 metres. The aircraft has long range – 4,700 km, needs about 300 metres only for take-off and landing and a good payload (it can carry 30 soldiers).
Yasuo Kawanishi, General Manager (Business Development), said: “We are waiting for a request for proposal from the Navy.”
Giving an example of its search and rescue operations, recently the US-2i rescued a newscaster who was drowning in the Pacific Ocean, 1,200 km from shore. “Reaching by boat/ ship would have taken days, but the aircraft did a marvellous job.”
— R. Chandrakanth