The Economic Times reported on Saturday, “India has renewed its efforts to acquire 12 US-2i amphibious aircraft from Japan worth Rs 10,000 crore.” According to the report, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tokyo on November 11-12, The matter will reportedly be discussed by officials from both countries.
Due to a price escalation caused by fluctuating exchange rates, India was yet to accept Japan’s offer because of the scope for “bringing down the cost of these machines,” An official told the daily. The Japanese government was considering a “20% concession” The official said. According to The Financial Express, The possible deal will also be taken up by the Defence Acquisition Council – chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The aircraft also be used to transport combat troops in the case of an emergency, while they are primarily used for search and rescue operations. The ShinMaywa Industries-manufactured planes will be divided between the Coast Guard and the Indian Navy, If acquired.
In 2014, Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe directed the Joint Working Group between the 2 countries to “accelerate progress in the discussions” for the acquisition. The high costs involved has so far prevented a deal for being finalised. The 2 sides have been negotiating the details of the potential purchase for at least 3 years.