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No progress made in Japan’s sale of MSDF rescue flying boats to India during PM’s visit

  • October 30, 2018
  • , Yomiuri , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

Although the Japanese and Indian governments agreed to expand defense cooperation, they were only able to confirm at the bilateral summit meeting that they will continue to discuss Japan’s export of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (MSDF) US-2 rescue flying boats to India.

 

The US-2 is about 33 meters long, with a crew of 11. It is manufactured by ShinMaywa Industries. It has the following advantages: 1) long cruising range; 2) short takeoff distance; and 3) ability to land even on rough waters. The Indian navy is keen on acquiring the boat and the two governments started negotiations in 2013.

 

Differences in the two countries’ thinking on defense equipment is behind the delay in Japan’s export of the boat. While Japan prioritizes performance, India is “more interested in profits for its economy,” according to a Japanese government source. Therefore, it is seeking local production of the US-2 in the negotiations.

 

The difference in the purpose of using the boat is another obstacle. While the MSDF mainly uses the US-2 for search and rescue missions at sea, the Indian navy has indicated that it intends to use this for airlifting troops to remote islands or conducting surveillance operations. This means that alterations will need to be made for the export model, thus increasing the cost of over 15 billion yen per boat further by several billion yen. (Abridged)

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