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Defense Expo 2018: Amphibious plane, shipborne UAV to join military fleet | India News

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CHENNAI: An amphibious plane that can land on and take off from a river and a UAV which can be launched and retrieved from warships will now be made in India with the help of technology transfer. Joint venture agreements to this effect with foreign firms were announced by the Mahindra Group at the DefExpo 2018 on Wednesday.

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Mahindra signed an MoU with ShinMaywa Industries Limited, Japan, to manufacture and assemble the US-2 amphibious aircraft in the country. Mahindra will also set up MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) units for the aircraft. The MoU has come at a time when India and Japan are discussing the methodology for the procurement of US-2 by the Indian Navy.

Make-in-india

Commenting on the tie-up, SP Shukla, group president, aerospace and defence sector, Mahindra Group and chairman, Mahindra Defence, said, “The partnership between two companies familiar with the aviation business is positive for MRO and maintenance services in the Indian defence aerospace sector.”

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Yasuo Kawanishi, director, ShinMaywa Industries Limited, said, “This is a versatile aircraft ideally suited for Indian conditions. The US-2 is useful for strengthening the safety and security of sea lines of communications, long range fleet support and island or off shore assets. These missions can earn for India the goodwill of nations of the Indian Ocean region commensurate with its identity as a responsible rising power. Japan Maritime Defence Force has extensively used this aircraft for many years.”

US-2 is a modern open sea capable amphibian aircraft with state-of-the-art equipment, very rough sea operations (up to 3m wave height), riverine or lake landing capability, long endurance and extended radius of operations with large payload.

In another development, Mahindra Defence and Israeli firm Aeronautics signed an MoU to partner for naval shipborne UAVs for the Indian Navy. Aeronautics, a leading manufacturer of UAVs, is an Israeli public listed company and its Orbiter series of UAVs has been sold to many countries.

The Orbiter 4 is an advanced multi-mission UAV that can carry and operate two different payloads simultaneously. It can carry advanced radar and cellular interception sensors and fly for up to 24 hours at 18,000 feet with a maximum take-off weight of 50kg.

Amos Mathan, CEO Aeronautics said, “We have entered into this partnership to offer the maritime version of Orbiter 4 to Indian Navy. We will work with Mahindra Defence to manufacture Orbiter UAVs in India. We are ready for transfer of technology and transfer of production line to India.”

Updated: April 12, 2018 — 4:46 am

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