In light of the new and improved economic ties between the two countries, India is now looking to purchase military aircraft from Japan. This will mark a first since the Second World War, since India will most likely be the first country to purchase military equipment from Japan, helping Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe move closer towards dismantling a nationwide ban on Japanese companies exporting military weapons.
The two countries have agreed in concept on a deal that will see New Delhi purchase military amphibious aircraft from Japan’s ShinMaywa Industries, with the deal amounting to as much as US$1.65 billion (over 170 trillion yen). The details were revealed by Indian authorities on Tuesday, but they also said that several details still need to be worked out and negotiations will resume in March, especially regarding the details on joint production of the plane in India. India, sources say, is likely to buy at least 15 of the planes, priced at around US$110 million each. “It’s a strategic imperative for both sides, and it has been cleared at the highest levels of the two governments,” said an Indian military source, who preferred to remain anonymous.
ShinMaywa’s US-2i amphibious plane has a range of over 4,500 km (2,800 miles), which will give India flexibility to use it for air patrols far into the country’s boundaries of Southeast Asia from the base where the aircraft is planned to be used. The initial plan will be two deliver two ready-made aircraft from Japan, and assemble the rest of the planes part of the deal with an Indian partner. The two governments have also set up a joint working group that will meet in March to consider the plans of setting up a plant in India to assemble the plane under license by an Indian state manufacturer.
[via First Post]