This is the first time ever that ShinMaywa or even a Japanese company would be participating in the Defexpo 2012. In an interview with SP’s Naval Forces, the company elaborated on products they have on offer for the Indian armed forces.
SP’s Naval Forces (SP’s): ShinMaywa is a very recent entrant into the Indian Aerospace segment. Can you brief us about the company?
ShinMaywa: About 90 years ago, ShinMaywa Industries began its business operations as the Kawanishi Machinery Company when the Kawanishi Type 1 amphibian aircraft was manufactured. It was a leading aircraft manufacturer for many decades. After the Second World War, the company utilised its expertise in the aerospace segment to make special purpose trucks and industrial machinery. Later, the company was renamed ShinMaywa Industries Ltd. (ShinMaywa means new bright future) and expanded its business to once again make amphibian aircraft. Since then, we have expanded our product portfolio to include passenger boarding bridges, environmental systems, pumps, direct drive motors and automated car parking systems. We now have customers in more than 100 countries and we have overseas plants in five countries and last year we had sales of about $1.3 billion. Our company philosophy is to contribute to the improvement of societies and our company prioritises the values of safety, quality, schedule and cost in all its operations. The company has supplied 47 seaplanes to the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF). Its latest product is the US-2 which is operated by the JMSDF. We have offered the same US-2 to the Indian Navy.
SP’s: The year 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with India. It is very interesting to see a Japanese company participating in the Defexpo. Is there a message for India in this participation?
ShinMaywa: India and Japan have a historical relationship. We truly value the relationship with India. India was the only country that signed a separate peace treaty with Japan and waived off all war claims. So, we have a long association. In fact, this is the first time ever that ShinMaywa or even a Japanese company would be participating in the Defexpo. We are really overwhelmed with the response that we have received and it is clear that the Indians have a lot of interest in Japan and our unique products. We see our high technology product not only as a sale to India but a step towards elevating our relationship further through sharing such unique technology for the good of society.
SP’s: How do you see the US-2 furthering the mission requirements of the Indian Navy?
ShinMaywa: We believe that this aircraft is really the best and second to none in its category. It’s huge capabilities can play a major part in enhancing India’s role in the region using cutting edge Japanese technology for the good of the society. It can carry out a variety of missions ranging from constabulary, humanitarian relief and logistic support missions.
SP’s: How do you see ShinMaywa growing as a business venture in India? Will you be focusing only on the US-2 or on another innovative product for the Indian market?
ShinMaywa: ShinMaywa began its India operations almost 20 years ago. We already are a major supplier of passenger boarding bridges and wire terminating machines to Indian customers. We have now responded to the Indian Navy’s request for information (RFI) for amphibian aircraft. We also have regular inquiries for our other engineering products and environment systems. Therefore, we are here in India for the long-term and we will grow our business operations in a calibrated and systematic manner which will best contribute to the needs of the Indian Navy as well as other customers in India.
SP’s: In what way is the US-2 different from other amphibian aircraft?
ShinMaywa: The STOL Technology based on boundary layer control (BLC) which allows ultra-low speed operations and introduction of spray suppressor technology which enables operation in rough seas with waves of three-metre-high which no other aircraft has achieved. It also requires the least takeoff and landing distance whether on land or sea, the longest range, the highest payload and is the only aircraft in its class which is proven, in-service and certified/ruggedised for military specifications. Its radar system combines both weather and surface surveillance. For India, the US-2 uses the same class of engines that the C130J uses. I think we have a very good product for our global and strategic partner—India. I also see the US-2 as a very good vehicle to implement the vision of our two countries to build a solid partnership between India and Japan. The US-2 is the best way to begin this partnership since this aircraft benefits a larger world community and would rightly fit into India’s growing responsibilities.
SP’s: What are your business expansion plans for the Indian market? Where do you see ShinMaywa industries in India 10 years down the line?
ShinMaywa: Ten years is not such a long time. Our focus is to first introduce the US-2 in the Indian Navy. Our other products are also of unmatched quality and use very powerful modern technologies. We expect that the Indian market will accept our products for their high quality and high technology. Our intention is to be in India for the long-term and we will expand our operations in a calibrated manner.