India's Defense Ministry plans to buy amphibious aircraft from Japanese manufacturer ShinMaywa Industries, something that has been in the pipeline for the last two years. Apperently, the ministry will approve the purchase of 12 US-2 aircraft at the Defense Acquisitions Council meeting scheduled for Monday, which Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar chairs.
According to news sources, the two countries will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Japan this Thursday to Saturday. The total value of the purchase is about U$1.6 billion, but India may be able to negotiate a discount of 8-9%. Other details of the deal, including delivery dates, will be finalised during Modi's visit, and reported here.
The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) uses the US-2 for rescue operations. It is more expensive than similar planes built by Canadian or Russian manufacturers, but it offers better performance when landing on water or in stormy weather.