The ShinMaywa US-2 STOL Amphibian


Search and Rescue in the IOR

Being evaluated by the government of India is the ShinMaywa US-2, an amphibious short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft manufactured by Japan-based ShinMaywa Industries. Designed for air-sea rescue missions, the US-2 is presently operated by the 31st Fleet Air Wing of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF).

The ShinMaywa US-2 fleet is deployed across the remote islands of Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zones to provide surveillance and emergency medical transportation services. The aircraft can quickly reach remote islands and sites of maritime accidents during search and rescue (SAR) operations. The aircraft has been offered to India in response to the Indian Navy’s global request for information (RFI) for nine amphibious SAR aircraft. The US-2 is the first Japanese aircraft to be offered to the Indian defence forces.

In October 1996, ShinMaywa was nominated by the Ministry of Defence as a main contractor to develop advanced version of existing US-1 aircraft. The new aircraft was designated as the US-1A Kai. ShinMaywa formed a US-1A modification engineering team including Kawasaki Heavy Industries, NIPPI Corporation, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The rigorous engineering requirements imposed on the project resulted in an advanced model which was virtually a brand new aircraft.

Final assembly of the first prototype was concluded in April 2003 and the first flight test successfully conducted in December 2003. The first prototype was delivered to the MoD in March 2004, followed by the second prototype in December 2004.

The US-2 incorporates a flexible airframe design allowing it to be converted into a fire-fighting amphibian, passenger transport aircraft, or a multi-purpose amphibian. The wings and fuselage are made of composite materials. It features a pressurised cabin for high-altitude flights. The STOL technology based on boundary layer control (BLC) helps in very-low-speed operations.

Tag:- ShinMaywa US-2 STOL Amphibian, Indian Navy Requirements