NEW DELHI -- Japan and India will discuss local manufacturing of an amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft in light of New Delhi's wish to lower the 10 billion yen ($95 million) price tag for importing a finished plane.
In a Saturday joint news conference with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the two sides are discussing the possibility of joint production.
The Japanese side appears open to the idea, with a senior Defense Ministry official noting that local production is an option for keeping costs down. Such details as whether ShinMaywa will construct a local plant or the Indian aircraft industry will build the aircraft under license will be discussed later.
The ShinMaywa US-2, used by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, is a Japanese-built aircraft that can land in water when waves are as high as 3 meters. With India expressing interest, the two sides decided at a summit last May to establish a study group on exporting the aircraft from Japan, with the first meeting held in India that December. Japan has been expected to sell the US-2 as a civilian aircraft.