The Indian government has been discussing with Japan since on buying Shinmaywa US-2 aircraft which would be used for various roles such as crew rotation at sea, supply of spares to ships, long-range search and rescue and surveillance according to Flight Global. The partnership is strategic for Japan that seeks to contain the rise of China and India that can not get an alliance with Pakistan, but that, we do not care. It is also the return of Japan to the club of countries selling international aircraft.
Yet, my question is : why choosing such an atypical airplane for such missions ? In France I know that SAR missions are done by Falcon 50 and 200, which are long-range business jets, or helicopters. Neither of them are able to land at sea but jets are faster and helicopters have divers to be to take care of the SAR mission.
For crew rotations, it is true that the US-2 can carry up to 20 people. And if this kind of missions only concerns large boats where my lack of knowledge in the Indian Navy suggests to me that they still have helipads, the NH-90 carries as many troops as the US-2 and can even land directly on it if it has one. Furthermore it can land anywhere, but the sea indeed.
Thus why choose a seaplane for search and rescue, crew rotation at sea, supply of spares to ships, long-range search and rescue and surveillance ?
To my mind, their is lots of positive aspects using this aircraft as far as it would enable them to be faster in crew rotation at sea, supply of spares to ships but to be slower for SAR and surveillance, which seems to me to be the most important mission. Is it a difference of philosophy between French and Indians ? Or is their a deeper reason to prefer seaplane ?