Japanese manufacturer Shinmaywa Industries has entered into a partnership with Mahindra Defence to support a potential sale of US-2 amphibian aircraft to India’s navy.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the two companies will work together to establish MRO and manufacturing and assembly facilities for the US-2.

It also envisages a strategic partnership for future variants of the amphibious turboprop, Mahindra states.

“This partnership between two companies familiar with the aviation business is positive especially for MRO and maintenance services in the Indian defence aerospace sector,” says SP Shukla, chairman of Mahindra Defence.

The wider Mahinda conglomerate owns Australian-based general aviation manufacturer Gipps Aero, while its defence unit supplies armoured vehicles, decoys, torpedos and electronics to India’s armed forces.

The tie-up between Mahindra and Shinmaywa is the first major sign that New Delhi may be moving forward with its long-held plans to acquire US-2s for a number of roles, such as crew rotation at sea, supply of spares to ships, long-range search and rescue and surveillance.

In 2014, FlightGlobal reported that India’s navy looking to buy 18 of the aircraft to be delivered between 2016 and 2018, however there has been no firm order to date.

Powered by four Rolls-Royce T56 turboprops, the US-2 is only in-service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Five aircraft are in-service, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

Source: Cirium Dashboard