US-2 amphibian: 8 facts about Japan’s aircraft that Indian Navy and Coast Guard are set to get
India is all set to acquire Japan's US-2i amphibian search and rescue aircraft in a deal that is likely to cost $1.65 billion. India will acquire these aircraft for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard. India is looking to buy anywhere between 12 to 18 US-2. The deal for these aircraft has been stuck for several years now, but is expected to see a breakthrough after the Defence Acquisitions Council clears it.
ShinMaywa, the Japanese maker of the plane, claims that the US-2 is the world's best short takeoff and landing (STOL) amphibian aircraft. We take a look at its salient features:
US-2: ShinMaywa claims that its STOL capabilities allow the US-2 to take off and land in much shorter distances - both on land and on water, compared to commercial airline planes.
According to ShinMaywa, the US-2 requires only one-fourth of the distance that commercial airlines require for takeoff and landing. An additional advantage is that as an amphibian aircraft, the US-2 does not require runway construction, the company says.
The plane can land on rough seas with a wave height of around 3 metres. The US-2 can cruise at extremely low speeds of approximately 90 km/hr.
The US-2 is a capable plane that is particularly helpful during rescue operations. The US-2 has an approximate operational range of 4,500 km and a cruise speed of 480 km/hr.
ShinMaywa says that the US-2 is the world's only amphibian that is equipped with a BLC (Boundary Layer Control) powered high-lift device.
The US-2 would also serve to be a good aircraft for ocean surveillance and preservation of remote islands.
The Indian government has been keen on acquiring the ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft from Japan as part of their expanding bilateral strategic partnership, with both nations wary of China’s assertive behaviour in the Asia-Pacific region.
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