07 April 2015

Indonesia Mulls Buying Japan’s US-2 Amphibious Aircraft, Defense Chief Says

07 April 2015

ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft (photo : militaryphotos)

Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said Monday his government is considering the possibility of buying the US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan.

“We feel (there’s a match) and we wish to buy. We’re still mulling (this), and if we already finish (the assessment) we will report to the president about this,” Ryacudu said in an interview.

The US-2 is built by ShinMaywa Industries Ltd., based in Hyogo Prefecture.

The Indonesian defense minister said the US-2 is well suited for the geographical conditions of Indonesia, a country of thousands of islands.

Noting that both Japan and Indonesia are archipelagic countries that frequently have to contend with natural disasters like earthquakes, he said, “Geographically, we are in the ‘ring of fire,’ so we learn from Japan in terms of disaster management.”

Indonesia is seeking to strengthen its maritime forces, sea patrol functions and search and rescue operations in surrounding waters.

The US-2 can land on and take off from the sea. The aircraft is already in use by the Self-Defense Forces.

In March, Japan and Indonesia signed a defense agreement that stipulates cooperation in several sectors, including maritime cooperation and disaster management.

The US-2 is expected to be on the agenda when the two countries launch “two-plus-two” security talks between their defense and foreign ministers, according to diplomatic sources.

India is also considering purchasing the US-2.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is also assessing the possibility of purchasing the Be-200 multipurpose amphibious aircraft from Russia, with Ryacudu scheduled to go to Russia on April 14.

(Japan Times)

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