Mahindra partners Japanese, Israeli firms for sea planes, naval UAVs

12 Apr 2018


Mahindra Defence, part of Mahindra and Mahindra Group, on Wednesday announced the signing of two major deals that would strengthen it defence footprint and make it a major supplier of Naval aviation equipment and parts.

The company on Wednesday signed an MoU with Japan-based ShinMaywa Industries to manufacture and supply the US-2 amphibious aircraft to Indian Navy. It also signed another MoU with Aeronautics of Israel to manufacture shipborne unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the Indian Navy.
Under the MoU, signed on the sidelines of the Defexpo 2018, in Chennai, Mahindra Defence and ShinMaywa Industries will join forces for setting up MRO services as also facility for manufacture and assembly of structural parts and components for US-2 amphibian aircraft.
ShinMaywa US-2, manufactured by Japan-based ShinMaywa Industries, is a modern amphibious aircraft and a veritable force multiplier since it fulfils a multitude of missions in a single platform. It is an unique aircraft and the only ‘in service’ open sea capable amphibian aircraft with state-of-art equipment that can be used for very rough sea operations (Sea state 5 up to 3m wave height), riverine/lake landing capability, STOL features, long endurance and extended radius of operations with large payload capacity.
US-2 could be an effective platform to carry out ‘benign’ missions such as search and rescue (SAR), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), humanitarian relief and disaster management, and ‘constabulary’ missions such as extended EEZ surveillance, maritime domain awareness (MDA) missions of the Indian Navy etc.
The ShinMaywa US-2 fleet is deployed by Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces across their remote islands chain for exclusive economic zones protection, surveillance and search and rescue operations.
India and Japan are now discussing the methodology of procurement of amphibian aircraft US-2 requirements of the Indian Navy. Both nations are working on the way forward to induct this aircraft in India.
Under the partnership, ShinMaywa and Mahindra Defence will set up MRO services in India and also undertake manufacturing, assembling of structural parts and components for US-2 amphibian aircraft etc.
Mahindra is the only Indian private sector OEM for small aircraft which is sold in many countries globally.
“This partnership between two companies familiar with the aviation business is positive especially for MRO and maintenance services in the Indian defence aerospace sector. We are committed to absorbing maintenance TOT for this large amphibious aircraft in India. Our partnership will enable us to leverage our strengths and consequently this will contribute to growing Indian aerospace ecosystem,” SP Shukla, group president, Aerospace and Defence Sector, Mahindra Group and chairman, Mahindra Defence, said.
 “This is a versatile aircraft ideally suited for Indian conditions. The US-2 with its unmatched capability is considered to be extremely useful for strengthening the safety and security of SLOCs, long range fleet support and island/offshore assets (both overseas and coastal) support functions. These missions when combined in a single multimodal platform such as the US-2 can earn for India the precious goodwill of nations of the Indian Ocean region commensurate with its identity as a responsible rising power. Japan Maritime Defence Force have extensively used this aircraft for many years now,” Yasuo Kawanishi, director, ShinMaywa Industries Limited, said.
As per the MoU both the companies will build  a strategic partnership for future versions of US-2 amphibian aircraft.
The ShinMaywa group has a product range of aircraft, industrial machinery, environmental systems, special purpose trucks and passenger boarding bridges. ShinMaywa products are exported to over 100 countries around the globe, including India.
Mahindra Defence also signed an MoU with Aeronautics of Israel to partner for Naval Shipborne unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Aeronautics and Mahindra will offer a UAV system which can be launched and recovered from Indian warships.
Aeronautics, a leading manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), is an Israeli public listed company, and is a key player in the defence domain. Aeronautics is the OEM of Orbiter series of UAVs, which is sold in many countries globally.
The Aeronautics Orbiter 4 is an advanced multi-mission platform with an ability to carry and operate two different payloads simultaneously. With an open architecture, the Orbiter 4 can be specially adjusted to the needs of each mission. 
Among the different payloads the Orbiter 4 can carry are maritime patrol radar (MPR), cellular interception sensor, satellite communication, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), automatic identification system (AIS) and advanced electro-optic payload. Orbiter 4 capabilities include maximum endurance of up to 24 hours, maximum take-off weight of 50 Kgs and maximum flight altitude of 18,000 feet while operating different payloads.
Under the partnership Mahindra Defence and Aeronautics will offer the maritime version of Orbiter 4 for the Indian Navy. The UAV will carry state-of-the-art sensor payloads as required by Indian Navy. The UAV will be capable of being launched and recovered from small warships that do not have a helicopter deck, including small warships which are around 50 m in length. This UAV will be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy.
“Aeronautics has entered into this partnership to offer the maritime version of Orbiter 4 to Indian Navy. We will work together with Mahindra Defence to manufacture Orbiter UAVs in India. We are ready for transfer of technology and transfer of production line in India. This is a sign of Aeronautics’ commitment to India by offering our newest and most advanced aerial solutions for operations by Indian Navy - one of the best navies in the world,” Amos Mathan, CEO of Aeronautics LTD, said.
“Mahindra group has been supporting `Make in India’ initiative whole heartedly. We always identify high quality products and enter into partnerships that we believe will bring maximum value to our defence forces. We believe that Indian armed forces should get the state-of-the-art products while we develop skill and competency for defence manufacturing indigenously. Specifically, we have entered into this partnership to address a range of possibilities from offsets to manufacturing in India, which includes transfer of technology and life time support of the product,” SP Shukla, group president, Aerospace and Defence Sector, Mahindra Group and ahairman, Mahindra Defence, said.
With its UAS’s deployed by over 75 defence, military, and homeland security forces in more than 50 countries around the world, Aeronautics group provides unmanned aerial solutions for the most advanced defence, para-military and HLS missions. Integrating surveillance equipment with network information, Aeronautics’ unmanned aerial systems are ideal for land, sea and air operations, and have already accumulated hundreds of thousands of operational flight hours worldwide.
Mahindra Defence is engaged in catering to the needs of all three wings of the defence forces – Army, Navy and Air Force, supplying a range of products, including armoured vehicles, underwater warfare equipment, avionics and surveillance equipment’s etc.
Mahindra Defence has companies engaged in catering to needs of all three wings of Defence forces – Army, Air Force and Navy. Their product range includes armoured vehicles, underwater warfare equipment, avionics and surveillance equipment’s etc. Mahindra Defence is also poised to enter the field of defence aviation and has interest in building helicopters and aircraft for the armed forces. 
Through Land Systems units in India and the UAE, Mahindra Defence has also been supplying customised armoured vehicles to the Indian Army, para military forces and overseas customers. Naval Systems unit based in Pune has been supplying decoy and torpedo launchers, large composite structures for defence applications to the Indian Navy etc. Mahindra Defence is also engaged in defence electronics and avionics through a JV with Telephonics.
The Mahindra Group also enjoys a strong presence in agribusiness, aerospace, commercial vehicles, components, defence, logistics, real estate, renewable energy, speedboats and steel, amongst other businesses. Headquartered in India, Mahindra employs over 2,40,000 people across 100 countries.

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