Japan has agreed to deliver a dozen US2 seaplanes to India’s Navy. The $1.65Bn deal has been percolating for some time. The Indian aircraft will be known as the US-2i. With the same capabilities as the Japanese US-2, some equipment modifications are being made specific to Indian requirements. The only operator of the aircraft is the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force. Which makes the Indian order very useful for the manufacturer.
The plane has a crew of 11, and is capable of carrying 20 passengers or 12 stretchers for search-and-rescue missions. It has STOL capabilities and can even do water bombing missions with a 15 ton payload. It has four 4,600SHP Rolls-Royce Allison AE2100J engines which is also used by the C130J. With a 2500NM range the aircraft can patrol far. Take a look at the map. From Chennai the US2 can cover a very big area.
India bases its P-8s (and TU-142s) at Rajali Naval Air Station in southern India, about 70 kilometers inland from Chennai.
But if these aircraft are to be based on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as has been mentioned, then the effective ranges the aircraft will be able to cover moves considerably further east as the map illustrates. From Vir Savarkar International Airport the range map looks like this:
This range allows the aircraft to cover virtually any area in the South China Sea. This could be very helpful to a number of nations in the area. But guess who this is going to annoy? Which might perfectly fit the emerging Japan/India axis. It is amazing what an airplane can do.
$165 billion for a dozen seaplanes? Those are pretty expensive aircraft.
$1.65Bn – sorry for typo – now fixed
315 tonnes payload. The Galaxy can only lift around 122.
Apologies – that makes two typos now fixed.
Nitpicking or not, corrections that are acted on improve the archival qualities of the blog.
1.65bn for 12 planes ? so that makes 137,5M for one ? or, say, 130M for one plus logistics and training of crews ? Still pretty expensive if you ask me, even if you factor in some pretty expensive gear for surveillance missions…..
Thanks for posting this interesting information that I haven’t seen anywhere else on the dozen or so aviation web sites I visit every day day.
See the surprising Short Take Off capability of the ShinMaywa US2… out of its natural element.
This from India’s Express News Service, quoted in New Indian Express, January 7, 2014 in the context of Indian-Japanese co-operation: “…The two sides are also on the verge of signing a deal for Japanese firm ShinMaywa’s US-2 amphibious aircraft for the Indian Navy, for operating in island territories such as Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep…” So it’s been brewing awhile.
Its the Lexus of seaplanes?